Updated at: 07-11-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Have you ever wondered, “Where can I find clothing donation bins?” when you have an abundance of clothing but nowhere to put it? If you aren’t familiar with the different types of donation containers, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

Giving to charity, as you may know, is a serious matter that requires proper administration. Donation boxes are strategically positioned in high-traffic areas so that people may easily find them and make a contribution. This helps those in need while also discouraging consumers from stockpiling goods at home.

A donation bin is any container used specifically for the purpose of collecting donations. With the right permits, you can put these wherever, but you have to tell people what they’re for.

Some charities will provide donation bin locations on their websites, which can be accessed online. In a lot of places, this is very acceptable and even usual. It’s a quick and simple method of soliciting financial support from anyone. There is a lot more information out there, and if you want to know where to look for it, this article is for you.

What Can I Put In A Donation Bin

All types of things can be donated to charity through collection bins. Of course, you’ll want to label each section with the appropriate type of contribution! For instance, only certain types of toys, books, art supplies, and the like should be placed in a donation container designated for children’s playthings.

Clothing donation bin regulations on the way – The Daily Gazette

Those guilty of this activity typically identify their donation containers with their own name, leading donors to believe that only certain items or monetary amounts are acceptable. Donation containers often fill up ahead of schedule, prompting some donors to drop their donations on the ground nearby. That’s fine too; more money is always welcome.

For convenience, please package your item in a plastic bag or cardboard box. There are donation bins available for the general collecting of trash and unwanted items. It’s possible that the folks no longer have much use for it, but it can be donated to other organizations in need.

Are There Donation Bins Only For Clothes

The answer is yes! Donations of clothing can be dropped off in designated bins; donors need not specify a gender or size range. Where can I find donation boxes, you might be wondering. To be fair, several nations have multiple garment donation containers. Locating the closest clothing drop off locations is the quickest way to discover one. Find A Bin, on the other hand, is a website that locates donation bins for you, but only in certain areas. If you’d want to make a financial contribution to their cause, you can do so at their website. Let me tell you what an in-kind donation is: you can read about it here, friends.

What About Donation Boxes

Unlike donation bins, a contribution box cannot be left out in the open. These boxes are typically displayed in a location hosting an event, with the participants providing the financial backing for the event itself. Anyone who wishes to show their support for the event, help with the current costs, or contribute to the funding of future events can do so by placing money in the donation boxes. Labels can also be found on donation bins. Venue rental, catering, décor, and other miscellaneous costs might all be separated into their own boxes. Learn how to make a contribution box and where to get them.

Are All Donation Bins For Charity

I wish this were always the case, but alas, it is not. It has been found that many of these dumpsters are really operated by for-profit companies rather than charitable organizations. This is why having a license or permit is necessary before putting up donation boxes. To prevent these businesses from setting up bogus donation containers, the authorities should double-check this. If a website address appears on a bin, be sure it leads to a reliable resource. If you tried to access the site and were unsuccessful, it was probably a fraud. If you’re looking for a good cause to support, you may read about the top organizations to give to.

What Should I Do When I Find A Fake Bin

Charity fraud describes this type of dishonest activity. A growing number of instances of this have been documented, with many more suspected but difficult to prove. If you ever happen upon one, you must immediately inform the authorities. Make a report to law enforcement or register a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission about this. Always verify the legitimacy of the sites soliciting donations before sending money to a charity. Don’t open attachments from strangers, and if you must click on a link, type it in manually instead.

Donation Bins: For Charity or For Profit?

Donation boxes for clothes can be found at gas stations, parking lots, and sidewalks all across the city and the suburbs, making it easier for people to dispose of their old clothes.

NBC 5 Investigates revealed that many of these organizations are being run not by charities but by shadowy for-profit enterprises.

Steve Bernas, CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, said, “Most of those boxes are not clear and visible of where the money is going or who controls them.” Business owners have reported to us in the past that they found this box dumped at their establishment one night. They’re in every store and restaurant.

The holiday season is full of donation bins, and while most people probably believe their contributions are going to a good cause, this isn’t always the case. In fact, most donation containers are operated commercially.

Donation containers in Chicago need city permits, but our research revealed many more litter the streets without them.

Even though municipal officials claim to have issued 281 permits, NBC 5 Investigates has discovered dozens of containers that were not authorized for public use.

Find a Bin - Planet Aid, Inc.

For instance, along North Avenue, only five dumpsters have valid permits. All of these addresses, as far as the city records can tell, are on the western edge of town. However, within a short distance of North Avenue in Lincoln Park, there are numerous dumpsters that do not have proper permits.

One of the bins displays a sign identifying its operator as “secondchanceclothing.org” and providing the website by which donations can be made. However, a search reveals that the page cannot be accessed.

We were able to trace a phone number from another bin claiming to be maintained by Good Deed Recycling to a free-phone number for a Southern California hotel.

NBC 5 Investigates has tried contacting both Second Chance Clothing and Good Deed Recycling through its reported phone numbers and addresses with the Secretary of State’s office, but has not yet received a response.

Due to an increase in the number of clothes donation boxes, organizations like Goodwill and The Salvation Army now have to compete for dwindling garment donations.

According to Salvation Army Major John Aren, “competition is strong.” Not only drop boxes, but also online auction sites like eBay and social media marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace. Everyone here is feeling the heat.”

Money given to our cause is crucial to our continued existence. Goodwill Illinois and Wisconsin’s Vice President of Stores and Donation Centers, Dan Michael, put it this way: “Without donations, we don’t have stores.” “It’s tough because it’s our responsibility to explain to the public what that box is for and how it’s unrelated to the work we perform here.”

The Big Business of Textile Recycling

Numerous bins are run by legitimate for-profit businesses who collect donated clothing and resell it overseas for pennies on the dollar.

The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association reports that annual garment discards for the average person total 81 pounds, with 85% of the material ultimately being dumped in landfills.

Green bin operator The GreenCity Project and Chicago-based U’SAgain both claim that they are on a mission to eliminate textile waste by reselling gifts to the world’s poor. GreenCity Project and U’SAgain both run bins that have the necessary Chicago permits.

According to U’SAgain CEO Mattias Wallander, “we are giving a convenient alternative for individuals to dispose of clothes in a way that is beneficial to the environment and useful to people.”

According to Wallander, the majority of Chicago’s trash is shipped to Central America.

Donations made to the GreenCity Project’s bins are reported to benefit the local economy.

We provide a monthly stipend to the site owner of our bin, which can be given to a charity of their choosing. President of The GreenCity Project Jorge Peng explained that while some of their bins aim to fund individual organizations, others strive to fund organizations as a whole.

Wallander of U’SAgain feels “fly-by-night” bin firms tarnish the credibility of the entire textile recycling industry.

“It’s disappointing when corporations, if they are actual companies, drop collection bins without asking the property owner,” Wallander.

First Amendment Fight

Some communities have learned the hard way that the First Amendment protects clothing donation bins, regardless of how messy they get.

Because they were “proliferating throughout the city,” and because many of them “were not maintained and had become ugly locations and overflowing depositories for discarded objects or waste,” the city of Crest Hill, a southwest suburb, passed an ordinance prohibiting all contribution boxes.

In 2016, however, U’SAgain, which ran just one bin in Crest Hill, sued the city, claiming the rule was illegal.

A donation box acts as a quiet advocate. Noel Sterett, an attorney for Dalton and Tomich, put it this way: “The reason it’s out there is to raise funds for a certain cause.” “The law recognizes that as a sort of constitutionally protected free expression.”

Unattended clothing donation containers are now legal in Crest Hill, according to a new ordinance that replaced an older one that had banned them. According to the case files, the city also agreed to pay $24,000 in legal fees. Crest Hill does not yet have any donation bins.

Multiple such lawsuits across the country have resulted in court victories for the bin operators.

Instead of outright banning bin operators, Sterett said that local governments should instead regulate them.

Chicago has increased its enforcement operations recently. A city spokeswoman for Business Affairs and Consumer Protection claimed that 180 bins had been sent to the Department of Streets and Sanitation for removal and that 207 violations had been issued for lack of permits since 2018. Only 65 collection containers were authorized prior to the enforcement initiative.

Operators of collection bins are required to follow specific protocols, such as paying a $100 permit fee every two years, providing the name and phone number of a local contact person on the bins, and keeping a website that is regularly updated to include the locations of all collection bins under the operator’s care.

Dana Nessel Attorney General

Consumer Alerts are issued by the Attorney General to educate the public about unfair, misleading, or deceptive commercial practices and to offer advice on a variety of other topics. The Consumer Alerts are not a legal opinion, legal authority, or advice from the Department of Attorney General.

Clothing Donation Bins – Donor Beware

Donation bins have been popping up all around Michigan in the last few years. They’re useful since they’re so easy to find. However, not all of these cans are dedicated to charity. The charity may not actually benefit from the use of bins that bear its name. Therefore, before putting clothing donations into one of these bins, it is prudent to become acquainted with how the bins function.

Bin Operation In General

Recycling firms often use garment donation bins for financial gain. When a business recycles, the corporation usually offers to take care of any necessary upkeep for the container. Recyclers will often empty the bin on a regular schedule, sort through the donations, and sell any usable items at a certain price per pound, with a portion of the earnings going to the charity. There are also cases where a charity merely charges a fee to license the use of its name to a bin operator. Sometimes the charity really gets the clothes from the dumpster, either to give out to the destitute or to sell in their thrift store.

The Michigan Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Act governs the use of clothing donation containers. For the most part, this regulation mandates that all bin operators get licensed through the Attorney General’s office and submit their contracts there as well. In addition, the legislation forbids any form of misrepresentation and mandates specific disclosures.

Helpsy's clothing donation bins save the environment, taxpayer money - The Huntington News

Of course, just because a bin operator must follow the law does not mean that he or she actually does. Donors should always check the bin’s disclosures before making a donation. Inquiries or complaints filed with the Attorney General can clear up any questions about the veracity of those disclosures and may help the AG enforce the regulations governing clothing donation bins.

Customers can get in touch with the Charity and Public Trust Branch of the Attorney General’s Office at:

Public Benefit Trusts Article

P.O. Box 30214

48909 Lansing, Michigan


Fax: 517-241-7074


The state of Michigan’s Attorney General was able to successfully enforce the law against a Detroit-area clothing donation bin operator in 2017. The State of Texas’ clothing donation bin owner was the target of a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General in 2018.


Where can I find donation containers for used clothing? No longer will you have to wonder where the contribution bins are, and you won’t have to worry about charity fraud, because you now know where to look. We’d like to think that our explanation is clearer now. Donating to charity is a wonderful thing, but it’s important to take precautions and learn as much as can about the organization you’re giving to. We appreciate you taking the time to read this!