Non-profit donation bin gets vandalized on camera

Image 1 of 4

Many people don't realize this, but we learned in the business of donation bins it can be very competitive.
But it's hard to believe anyone would stoop to this level.

"It’s a common thing in our industry unfortunately," said Chris Thompson.

Common - but it doesn't make it right. You may recognize these donation bins. Thompson is the Detroit operations manager for Planet Aid - a non-profit organization that collects clothes and shoes. The proceeds go to needy people all over the world.

Thompson just discovered one of his bins has been knocked over three times over the last month. The culprits were caught on the surveillance camera at the Super Dollar Center in Lincoln Park on Dec. 18, Christmas day and most recently Jan. 2.

"It is disheartening when this is going on when we are trying to do the right thing and help people around the world," Thompson said. "And they are trying to make life difficult for everyone."

Take a close look at the other bin on the property being collected by the workers. It belongs to Golden Recyclers based in Dearborn.

"Just to try and bully us off the site if we can't collect then we'll pick up our bin and move along," Thompson said.

While Planet Aid is non-profit, Golden Recyclers is for profit. In fact, last year the attorney general fined Golden Recyclers $35,000 for deceptively collecting donations through unauthorized bins.

FOX 2 reached out to owner May Haymour, who at first told us by phone the Super Dollar Center gave them permission to knock down or remove the Planet Aid bin because it didn't belong there.

But Thompson showed us the contract which shows Planet Aid had permission.

When we told Haymour - she changed her story and said they plan to take a closer look at the video. If they find out it was a private contractor they hired who knocked down the donation bins, she said there will be consequences.

As for Thompson, sadly, this sort of thing he says happens far too often.

"It is unfair we go out try to do everything by the book it is not uncommon in our industry it is what it is," he said. "It is something we have to deal with." 

Lincoln Park police took a report but will likely not pursue it because although it may be wrong, what was caught on video isn't criminal.