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Red Oak board backs hosting clothes and shoes recycling bin



(Red Oak) — Red Oak residents will soon have another location to drop off unwanted shoes and clothing.

That’s because the Red Oak School Board, during its latest regular meeting, by a 4-0 vote, approved Green Bins, LLC placing a clothes and shoes recycling bin on the Red Oak Junior-Senior High School campus. Red Oak School Superintendent Ron Lorenz says company officials had contacted the school about placing one of its four-by-five-by-six foot bins on school property to either re-sell or recycle unwanted clothing and shoes.

“My understanding is that Green Bins takes these clothes and tries to re-sell them, and if they can’t, they funnel them to places that chop them up and make them into stuffing for pillows and such,” said Lorenz. “(Green Bins) is willing to split the proceeds from all of the collections with the Red Oak Education Association on behalf of the ‘School Beyond School’ program.”

While not a large money source, Lorenz noted it could provide a consistent cash flow for the “School Beyond School” program. He adds they would place the bin on the southwest corner of the building. The superintendent says a remote meeting with Green Bins officials alleviated some of his concerns, particularly regarding the bin becoming a dumping site for furniture and individuals rummaging through the bin.

“The reason they like doing it at schools is because we have cameras and they haven’t had a problem with that kind of at schools,” he said. “I also wasn’t very crazy about the idea of people scrounging in the bins and they say that’s not possible with the way the bins are configured and they’re locked. They also have a sensor that alerts the company when they’re half full or three-quarters full so the company knows to dispatch and truck and empty them out.”

The school would receive a monthly check from Green Bins, with company officials noting most schools and organizations receive a check between $50 and $500 a month per location. Lorenz adds that his other concern of disenfranchising other philanthropic efforts in town was also resolved after talks with other organization leaders.

“So, I spoke with the local minister who is responsible for Christ’s Cupboard (Community Food Pantry), and they had no concerns,” Lorenz emphasized. “They didn’t think it would interfere with their donations and in fact said it might actually be a place they could send some of their overflow items.”

If the board chooses to stop having a bin on the school property, Lorenz says the company asks for 30 days to remove it. Currently, Green Bins has locations in over 57 communities and school districts, including Creston, Corning, Villisca, Lenox, Greenfield, and Massena.

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