Borough administrators and politicians are taking measures to control the proliferation of clothing donation boxes, so that they don’t impact negatively on the quality of life in local neighbourhoods.
“It’s a real epidemic,” said borough director Stéphane Plante. “We’re taking it very seriously.”
At the last council meeting a resident raised the issue. She wondered why the boxes seem to be multiplying like rabbits, and if the owners had obtained the necessary permission.
The metal boxes scan be found on many street corners, often installed on the boundary between public and private space, and asking for donations of used clothing, shoes and other everyday items. The stated goal of organizations like BINefit, FQFM, Renaissance and FQDI is to aid the poor.
Without addressing the issue of who benefits from the proceeds, Plante said that the clothing donation boxes cause cleanliness problems, and that the owners have not obtained permission from the borough to intrude on public space.
Borough officials will solve the problem by taking inventory of the boxes and communicating with the organizations that installed them. A meeting is planned for this week, with a goal of regulating the boxes, whether they be on public or private property.
“We’ll start by asking them to remove all the boxes from public space,” said Plante. “We’ll also look for a solution for boxes on private space.”
We investigated a clothing donation box that was put on private space a few weeks ago at Côte-des-Neiges and Ellendale. Kassem Khachab, the president of BINefit Canada and also of Tecaras Collection, a business that handles the items collected, said that he had obtained the necessary permission.
“We always ask the owner for permission,” he said, referring to an agreement he made with the owner of the Subway restaurant where the box is installed.
But problems remain. The agreement wasn’t made with the owner of the lot, and he wants the box removed. The owner of the business, Hany Georgi, requested that the box be taken away only a few days after it was installed. But two weeks later it was still there.