The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 16, 2014

Planet Aid offers help with Conneaut’s bin problems

CONNEAUT — A representative of Planet Aid on Monday night told Conneaut’s City Council it is working to correct problems surrounding its donation collection bins scattered about the city.

Valerie Walker, community outreach coordinator with the organization’s Solon office, pledged her help to control trash and discards that accumulate around bins.

“We will do everything we need to do,” she told council. “We want to partner with the city.”

City leaders fed up with the appearance of the bins owned by various charities are mulling changes to the municipal zoning code aimed at containing the containers. Council, which has made the appearance of the city a priority, has discussed limiting the number of bins and also moving them away from highways.

In answer to council’s questions, Walker said all Planet Aid bins are serviced regularly, with pickups scheduled depending on the volume of activity at each site. Planet Aid bins are clearly marked to accept shoes and clothing only, but that hasn’t stopped people from dumping furniture, TV sets and other discards. The organization collects all rubbish left next to its bins, Walker said.

Seventeen Planet Aid boxes are located in Conneaut, but three may be pulled soon for inactivity, Walker said. Planet Aid staffers scout potential sites and ask property owners’ permission before bins are placed, she said.

Shoes and clothing collected from bins yield fabric and other products that are recycled. Proceeds aid charities in countries around the world — including the United States, Walker said. Ward 1 Councilman Doug Hedrick asked if Planet Aid assists communities that provide the contributions. Walker said the organization has donated between 2 and 5 cents per pound of donations to local churches and schools.

“We will do that here,” she said.

Planet Aid is the second organization to attend a council meeting since City Hall’s ire with bins became front page news. Last month a representative with Goodwill Industries updated members on its donation system

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