Local recycling company put on notice by state

Local recycling company put on notice by state

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by BILL MCGINTY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 12:40 AM

Updated Thursday, May 9 at 10:32 AM

CHARLOTTE, NC -- Crisis Assistance Ministry serves the needy of Charlotte, a true charity that helps provide clothes for men, women and children. 

It is a charity that depends of the warm sense of giving in the Charlotte community. 

Michelle Hamilton of Crisis Assistance said 36,000 people were served in this restore last year and of those, 16,000 were children.

Other charities, like Goodwill, often use collection sites and bins to make it easy for you to donate. There is no mistaking what they are and what their intended purpose is.
This brings us to the red bins, located all over Charlotte. They too seek your donated clothing and shoes.

The company listed on the front label of the big red bin is Better World Recycling is a small company run out of an industrial park complex in north Charlotte.

Shawn Lange is Better World Recycling’s Marketing Manager and tells NBC Charlotte their small company has a mission that's two fold: saving the environment and clothing people in third world countries. 
 
But unlike a charity which is classified by the state as a non-profit, Better World is a for-profit company, which means they take your donated clothing, shoes, and toys and sell them to developing countries overseas.

"All of our bins are very straight forward to indicate that we are a recycling company," Lange saId.

That is true, their labels say so right on the front of the bin. But, their bins don’t tell you they are a for-profit company and that is against state law.
 
In January, Better World has been put on notice in a letter by North Carolina’s Secretary of State’s office saying their bins don’t have the proper disclosure language, and that bins like theirs must have labels on all four sides that say this is not a charity.

“We’re in the process of making it more clear as to what type of organization we are to avoid people being misled," Lange said.
 
Lange said the company is now putting labels on the bins because they want to.
 
And then there is the issue of permission to put these collection bins in store parking lots.

Don Robar helps manage a property in Matthews where he says Better World placed a bin.

Robar said no permission was given from the owner of the property or their other properties. Robar had the bin dismantled and carted away.

NBC Charlotte then checked with two other property managers, one in Mint Mill, the other in Matthews, who also said the bins showed up without prior approval.  

NBC Charlotte asked Lange if all of the property owners are aware and you have their blessing? 

“Yes sir," he said.

NBC did a follow up call after learning permission wasn’t given at some properties.

"Not sure who you talked to, but we stand by what we told you earlier," Lange said.
Better World defends its mission and its right to compete with local charities for your donated goods. 

Better World said they are saving the environment by shipping clothing that might end up in a landfill. 
Better World also said part of their mission is to support local charities in Charlotte, and they even sent NBC Charlotte two receipts that show they have donated books and clothing.
Charities like the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity  and Crisis Assistance Ministry were all quick to tell NBC Charlotte that they don’t have any relationship with Better World. 

They even demanded that Better World remove their logos and links from their website.
As for labeling the bins to reflect that they are a for-profit company, the state has given Better World until March 1. To check on a charity you can go to www.bbb.org.

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