N4T Investigators: Neighborhoods, property owners burdened with unwanted donation bins
Some donations received in Southern Arizona could be ill-gotten gains of sorts.
There are hundreds of donation bins around town that should not be seen at all.
A businessman and an activist believe this is a growing problem that is getting worse by the day. They said it messes up your neighborhood, as it costs everyone money. They are taking it to the state capitol.
“It’s very frustrating,” said property owner Greg Furrier. “We have had the bins placed illegally.”
Greg Furrier is one of several real-estate owners who are done with donation bins being put on their commercial properties without permission.
“They cause blight. They cause a disruption of traffic flow,” said Furrier. “Many times there’s multiple bins adjacent to each other, so it’s a big circulation problem.”
An old water heater is kind of circular, littering Furrier’s property and local neighborhoods. Then there is the discarded ducting, forcing business people to discard their cash to have the junk hauled away.
“We have to deal with this,” said Fight the Blight Coalition spokesperson Matthew Benson. “It has gone on long enough. We need some kind of state solution.
Benson said he is championing to get an Arizona state law passed.
“If you’re a donation bin operator and you want to have your bin somewhere on private property, you need to get that property owner’s signed permission in advance. That’s it,” said Benson.
There is another provision in State Bill 15-04, which has made its way to the senate. It says if a bin is placed without permission from the property owner, they are authorized to remove the bin and its contents without the vendor being able to sue them.
Experts recommend donors to take their items to somewhere familiar, preferably a place with a storefront.
“I’ll probably take it to the Salvation Army [or] Goodwill,” said donor Justin Lincoln.
The chances of tracking down whoever mysteriously placed a bin are thin.
Benson said that most bins have no contact information, insufficient information or only call back if the vendor is threatening legal action.
“It’s a tremendous headache for property owners,” said Benson.
Furrier does allow some bins on his property with permission. There are well over 7,000 unwanted donation bins across Arizona.