Well, just as the city was removing those illegal sketchy pink boxes that recently arrived around the neighborhood … here comes a sketchy blue box on Second Avenue near East First Street where the BP station was.
The MO is the same: Organizations place the boxes near or on vacated properties, making it less likely that the owners would call the city for removal. The number on the box goes to a full voice-mail box at Viltex, the for-profit New Jersey-based company who resells the donated goods to other clothing vendors as well as to companies that use the materials to make rags, as DNAinfo reported.
Here's the Times from July 6 with more on the uptick of these boxes all over NYC.
City law bans such bins from being placed on sidewalks and streets; they are legal on private property with the consent of the owner. Once found by Sanitation Department enforcement officers or reported by residents to the city’s 311 help line, an illegal bin is tagged and the owner has 30 days to remove it. Summonses are not issued, a department spokeswoman explained, based on the theory that those distributing the bins have factored any fines into the cost of doing business.
And one downside to the proliferation of the for-profit boxes.
A similar pattern has emerged nationally, according to officials at leading charities. They are alarmed by the misleading competition, which, they maintain, is undermining their own efforts.
“These dark-of-night property violators have proliferated nationwide,” said Jim Gibbons, the president and chief executive of Goodwill Industries International Inc. “They use a charitable veneer then extract the value for their business, versus the Salvation Army or St. Vincent de Paul, where the value is distributed in a more thoughtful way throughout the community.”
You can report the boxes to the city here. And did anyone happen to see any other of the blue donation boxes around…?
Previously on EV Grieve:
About those new sketchy pink boxes around the East Village
The sketchy pink boxes are going away