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Muskoka Post Staff
While many companies are shutting down, there are a select few industries that anticipate a surge of activity as a result of COVID-19, including used clothing community bins. Community bins are accessible all year but get busy in late April when households tend to do spring cleaning. Daniela Siggia a media representative for Textile Waste Diversion, a leading Ontario reclamation company said that an increase in the number of phone calls for bin servicing has already begun.
"With people being told to stay at home, we are finding household spring cleaning starting to happen earlier as families find creative ways to stay busy during periods of self isolation. Unlike donation drop off centers, used clothing bins are available 24 hours a day and require no human contact to use. They are usually put in the far end of parking lots so as not to impede traffic, and that isolation is especially handy at a time where social distancing protocols are being established,“ said Siggia. The collection of used clothing is a solitary job. Used clothing collectors work independently, spend the majority of time in their trucks and to maximize fuel efficiency, collect overnight to avoid idling in busy traffic. During times of social distancing, it is an ideal job. Although some used clothing bins have garnered some negative media attention being called 'illegal' by some competing collection organizations, Siggia said the public should not be concerned when choosing a bin. "Although there have been some practises that have attracted criticism, like sometimes placing bins without permission, a lot of the narrative disparaging bins is just hyperbole that has been created by monopolists trying to undermine fair competition. As a matter of fact, many of the bins that are often labelled as 'illegal' work with the same sorting organizations that the very people creating this narrative sell to. All collectors in the space have a 98 percent diversion rate, whether or not they are a registered charity. Family businesses in the sector support jobs and innovation. So if your end goal is to keep textiles out of landfill, any used clothing community bin you see fulfils that function," she said. Siggia believes there is another reason to celebrate community bins at this time. "Many of TWD's partnerships with commercial property owners raise funds for local charities and at a time like this, community causes need extra support so I'm glad the industry is well positioned to be able to continue offering it." As an extra precaution, Siggia recommends people sanitize their hands after using a bin. For more information visit https://www.TextileWasteDiversion.com