Officials order removal of overflowing donation bins abandoned in West Valley City

Posted at 7:52 PM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 21:52:48-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- West Valley City code enforcement has ordered a pair of overflowing and abandoned clothing donation bins be removed—but the bins continue to sit in the Kohl’s parking lot, an eyesore.

Now, other local nonprofits that run legitimate donation containers say the burden of the bins is starting to fall on their shoulders.

On Wednesday morning, a worker carried bags of clothing from the Friends of Multiple Sclerosis Charities' donation bin on 5600 West in West Valley City, to a box truck.

Francis Maurice, Director of the Utah chapter of the nonprofit, said workers collect the clothing and household items from their 60 bins across the state twice a week.

The donations end up at Savers, he explained, where the organization exchanges the donations for money—helping them raise funds.

“It has made up almost half of our donations,” he said.

While he said they work to keep the areas around their bins clean, up the street at Kohl’s, two parking lot containers sit in quite a mess.

“We've had several complaints,” said Layne Morris, Community Preservation Director for West Valley City.

He said the pile of "garbage" continues to grow, and the white bins are clearly abandoned.

“Evidently, R3 Impact’s gone out of business,” he said, of the supposed nonprofit whose name and logo is branded on the bin.

Maurice said a number of businesses where R3 Impact bins are placed in cities like West Valley and Bountiful mistakenly called Friends of Multiple Sclerosis Charities, thinking the bins belonged to them.

“We actually had a couple companies call us, that wanted us to pick up their bins,” he said.

One of his board members ended up reaching out to R3 Impact, he said, and found out the business is based in Las Vegas.

He said they looked at perhaps buying R3 Impact’s bins and repainting them. Maurice said they scheduled meetings with R3 Impact’s lawyers, but the lawyers never showed up. Eventually, the company was unreachable altogether.

“All the numbers we have are now disconnected,” he said. “I have no way of finding out how to get ahold of them.”

Then one morning, Maurice arrived to the Friends of Multiple Sclerosis Charities office in Salt Lake City to find two R3 Impact donation bins, dumped right in their parking lot.

“One of the businesses that had been contacting us, I'm assuming, just dropped them off here,” he said.

Now he, along with several businesses, are stuck with these bins.

On top of that, he said he’s started to notice businesses turning down new donation bins, out of fear they’ll become a problem like the R3 Impact bins.

“It's just making a negative impact on everyone that has donation bins,” Maurice said.

A sign on the R3 Impact bins in West Valley City Wednesday stated that the bins weren’t authorized on the property, and must be removed by August 21.

That date has passed, and the bins still sit there.

Morris did say they’ve been working with the property manager and hopes to have the bins taken away soon.

“We'll follow up soon and have them removed one way or another,” he said.

Fox 13 attempted to reach out to R3 Impact, but their number is not in service.