City removes illegal donation bins

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Not on my block.

After hearing complaints from local residents about suspicious blue donation bins popping up on sidewalks in Riverdale and Kingsbridge Heights, the city’s Department of Transportation acted quickly to remove or condemn the illegal bins.

The blue donation bins — each advertising a spot to drop off unwanted shoes, bags, belts, underwear and blankets — were  recently placed in front of a construction site on Giles Place in Kingsbridge Heights, on Independence Avenue in front of Riverdale Temple, on Fieldston Road near the Henry Hudson Parkway entrance and near Horace Mann School. 

As of press time, three of five bins in the area had been removed and the others were scheduled for removal, according to a Department of Sanitation spokeswoman.

 The company responsible for the bins is Viltex USA, LLC, which describes itself on its website as, “a for profit company that works hand in hand with local non-profit organizations and charities for the purposes of providing help and assistance to those in need.”

Most of the bins were placed on residential blocks, like the one in front of 3333 Giles Place. Some residents were not happy to see the bins sitting on sidewalks near their homes.

Teresa Stoeth, who lives across the street from 3333 Giles Place, noticed the bin last week and immediately called 3-1-1 to complain. She said within the hour, an inspector from the Department of Sanitation was there slapping a sticker on it for removal.

“This is a residential street. Just because that’s a construction site it doesn’t mean they can put this kind of thing there,” she said. “It just interferes with our quality of life.”

Some of the bins were labeled as derelict vehicles, which means the city condemned the property. 

Ms. Stoeth and her neighbors were also skeptical of where the donations go. Each Viltex bin is labeled, “Powered by Viltex Recycling.”

According to the company, clothing in good condition is given to charities and anything deemed not fit for donation is sold in bulk for profit. The bins themselves are painted with these words: “Through your donations we provide money to charities & give employees occupation.”

It is unclear how much money goes to charity or who gets the donated clothing.

A request for comment from Viltex was not returned as of press time.

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