Big Brothers Big Sisters seeing decline in donations after communities hire for-profit recycling company
CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) - A Rhode Island non-profit is feeling the effects of a new recycling program in several cities and towns across the state.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island has noticed a decline in clothing and household item donations since communities have brought in a for-profit company to recycle textiles.
"Right now in towns where some of these for-profit companies have started, we've actually seen a decline in some of our donations which affect us financially," said George Evans Marley, Director of Development and Community Relations.
Evans Marley said their donation room at their Cranston headquarters is typically filled to the ceiling. Lately, it's looking sparse. The organization relies on donations to fund its programs, pay its staff, and fund other areas to keep the agency going.
"Our donation center brings in about 60 percent of our annual budget each year, so every town that signs on, it continues to chip away at the services we're able to provide for the community."
North Providence, Bristol, Middletown, and Coventry have all brought the for-profit Ohio based company Simple Recycling to their towns, a company that offers curbside pickup of textiles. In exchange, communities get paid $20 to $40 per ton.
"We have seen a decline in donations from those communities," said Marley.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is now working with cities and towns to try and educate them on their donation process, and show that their service isn't only free, and helps the organization, but also keeps over 8 million pounds of trash out of the Johnston landfill each year.
"Ultimately, people want to get rid of their stuff. But when they can tie that to a good cause, and positive impact in the youth community, I know that folks feel better than just throwing it in the dumpster."
West Warwick could be the next community that hires the recycling company. A clerk at their town hall told ABC6 that they're in negotiations.
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