CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Green donation bins popping up around Champaign and Urbana are being placed on private property illegally and it’s creating problems for businesses.
Coldwell Banker Real Estate manages several of the properties where this is happening. On Monday they filed a report with police regarding the illegal dumping.
The donations put in these bins are shipped off overseas and recycled for the material. The company doesn’t ask businesses their permission to put them on private property and it’s costing Coldwell Banker a lot of money to deal with this.
The bins are scattered around at several locations. Jerry Sommers works for maintenance at Coldwell Banker and is in charge of disposing of the bins. He says, “It’s very surprising when they just show up overnight.”
Stephanie Hambleton with Coldwell Banker says, “There have been piles of bags and trash. It’s not just clothing that people dump there. There are mice, there are rats, there was one time there was actually a human being inside one of the boxes that was living in there.”
Sommers says, “You would think this company would contact the owners or caretakers of the property and ask permission to do that.” But they don’t. Instead, the bins are placed without warning and left there. The companies who operate the green bin businesses are called “The Gaia Movement” and “Green City Project”.
Hambleton has tried to contact them many times to stop, but most often they don’t answer the phone or reply to emails. One time she got a call back, but with no promise to discontinue the drop-offs. WCIA even tried to call the companies for several days. Nobody would pick up the phone.
It’s become costly. Hambleton says, “I would roughly say about $200 per box that we find on our property is about what we spend to have them removed.” Ever since the first one showed up two years ago, Coldwell Banker has paid to have them removed each time. They’ve taken away about fifty of them so far. But the companies doing this have been relentless, replacing them soon after the others have been hauled off.
While the green bin companies haven’t made it clear where exactly the donated items go, there are organizations in Champaign and Urbana that use donated items to benefit people in the community directly. Some of those include Salvation Army, Salt and Light, and Goodwill.