[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature 12-2-2008 by L.L. No. 51-2008 (Ch. 266 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
This Legislature finds and determines that unidentified clothing donation bins need to be regulated. This Legislature further finds that residents are easily misled to think that clothing dropped in an unmarked bin is going to charity when, in fact, that is not the case, and oftentimes, bins are set up by for-profit enterprises that take the discarded clothing and resell it for profit. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to provide transparency to the residents of the County regarding their gifts of clothing to charity.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CLOTHING DONATION BIN
- A large container (usually metal) customarily used by people to deposit unwanted clothing.
- Any individual, partnership, firm, company, association, society, public or private corporation or group, or institution.
It shall be unlawful for any person to place, use or employ a clothing donation bin that does not display the following information:
The name, location of the principal place of business and the telephone number of the person placing, using or employing a clothing donation bin; and
The charity registration number assigned by the Charities Bureau of the Office of the New York State Attorney General to the person placing, using or employing a clothing donation bin.
The information required by § 415-3 of this chapter shall at all times be conspicuously displayed on the exterior of all planes forming the perimeter sides of every clothing donation bin in uppercase type size of no less than three inches and in a color that contrasts with the color of the clothing donation bin.
In the event that a person placing, using or employing a clothing donation bin does not have a charity registration number, such person shall display, or shall cause to be displayed, in the same manner as required by § 415-4 of this chapter, the following statement:
The Director of the Suffolk County Office of Consumer Affairs shall have the power to impose a fine not to exceed $750 for a first violation and $1,500 for any subsequent violation of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder.
[Added 3-2-2010 by L.L. No. 4-2010]
Notice of violation.
In the event that a clothing donation bin is not in compliance with the identification and display provisions of this chapter, the Office of Consumer Affairs shall post a notice of violation on such bin. If the owner's address is displayed on such bin, the office shall also mail a copy of the notice of violation via certified mail to such address.
The notice of violation shall include, at a minimum, the following:
A description of the violation.
A warning that the clothing donation bin must be brought into compliance within 14 days from the date of the notice of violation or such bin shall be subject to impounding as set forth in Subsection C below.
Contact information pursuant to which the owner may request one extension of up to 14 days in order to obtain compliance. Such extension may be granted in whole or in part by the Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs upon the owner's showing of good cause. In no event shall any extension be in excess of 28 days from the date of the notice of violation.
Impoundment and redemption.
If a clothing donation bin has not been brought into compliance within 14 days following the date of the notice of violation or, if an extension has been granted, within the time allotted by such extension, the County of Suffolk may seize and impound a clothing donation bin for failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter.
Such impounded clothing donation bin shall be stored by the County of Suffolk until it has been reclaimed by the owner consistent with the provisions of this chapter. The owner of the clothing donation bin shall be sent notice of such impoundment at the owner's last known address by certified mail within five days after the impoundment. Neither Suffolk County nor any agency thereof shall be liable for any damages arising out of the provision of an erroneous name or address of such owner. The owner of the clothing donation bin utilized in violation of this chapter may redeem the same upon satisfactory proof of ownership and payment of a redemption fee of $1,000. Such impounded clothing donation bin may only be released to the owner of the clothing donation bin or to his or her agent as evidenced by a written, notarized agent agreement or duly executed power of attorney.
If the owner of an impounded clothing donation bin does not reclaim such bin within one year of the date of impoundment, the County of Suffolk may, at its discretion, dispose of such bin.
The provisions of this section shall be in addition to any other penalties set forth by law.
The Director of the Suffolk County Office of Consumer Affairs is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to promulgate such rules and regulations as he deems necessary for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. Such rules shall govern the conduct of adjudicatory proceedings and appeals taken pursuant to a proceeding commenced under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules relating to the assessment of civil penalties herein authorized. Such rules shall further provide for due process procedural mechanisms and any other mechanisms deemed necessary by the Suffolk County Attorney.
This chapter shall apply to all actions occurring on or after the effective date of this chapter.
This chapter shall take effect no sooner than 120 days after filing in the Office of the Secretary of State.