So many donated products are given new life in developing countries where people purchase used American goods for a fraction of their original cost. Internationally, more than 14.3 million tons
of donated American textiles help clothe people and families worldwide. But what happens when those donations are not going where we think they are going?
That's exactly why Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette sued A Houston-based clothing recycling company. American Textile Recycling Service (ATRS) agreed to pay $75,000 and take corrective action
due to the lawsuit.
ATRS operates 251 clothing donation bins in areas including Detroit, Lansing, Jackson, Kalamazoo, and Battle Creek for the Michigan Humane Society, according to a news release from Schuette's office. The stickers on the donation bins stated that the Michigan Humane Society received 100% of the revenue generated from the donations. However, the charity actually only receives two cents per pound for the items donated in the bins, according to an agreement with ATRS.
Since the lawsuit, the company has covered up the "100 percent" on the bin stickers. The $75,000 will be paid in order to correct and amend ATRS's clothing bin mishap.
Just last year, a similar case emerged. This case also involved donation bins misrepresenting benefits to charities, which brought the ATRS situations to the attention of the attorney general's office. The state fined Deborn-based Golden Recyclers Inc. $30,000 for collecting clothing
through more than 300 locally placed bins to benefit itself rather than the charity it advertised.
The bins had a "Mery" logo on them when the federation said it had not even authorized Golden Recyclers to use its logo. The bins also failed to include necessary legal disclosures.
The people of Michigan are just trying to do there part and help out those in need, and they now have to be wary of scams like these. Hopefully, these lawsuits will prevent situations like this in the future.