The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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June 18, 2014

Not all collection bins are bad, says Goodwill

CONNEAUT — The new administrator for the area’s Goodwill Industries has asked Conneaut City Council to please use discretion when plotting the future of donation bins in the city.

Eric Schwarz attended Monday’s work session to discuss the value of bins to his organization.

“Donations are our lifeblood,” Schwarz said. “As you consider the issue, be aware Goodwill will be impacted.”

Schwarz was referring to the city’s growing unhappiness with the garbage that people dump at the bins, especially those located along busy highways. The city’s Planning Commission is considering new rules aimed at the bins. Among the possible changes: limits on the number of bins and restrictions on where they could be placed, said City Manager Tim Eggleston. Operators may also be required to produce a letter of permission from the property owner, Eggleston said.

Schwarz feared the city was interested in eliminating bins completely, but was told that was not the case. He distributed copies of an ordinance another Ohio community has passed to control similar dumping problems.

Council is more concerned with the number of Planet Aid bins across the town and the ancillary refuse they collect, despite a large notice printed on the sides that only shoes and clothing are accepted. At some locations, Planet Aid and Goodwill bins sit side by side.

“It’s unfortunate (Planet Aid) decided to put their bins next to your bins,” said Councilman-at-large Jon Arcaro.

Schwarz said Goodwill regularly services its bins — at least weekly — and quickly hauls away any discards left on the ground. Council members thanked Goodwill for its diligence and dedication.

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