Profitable Fundraising Recycle Bins Removed From Schools
World Wear Project recycle bins have been located at Murphy Middle School since March of 2013, Boggess Elementary School since February 2017 and McMillen High School since October 2017. The flyer McMillen prepared stated, “Recycling shoes and clothing never made more cents. Be a part of diverting thousands of pounds of shoes and clothing from local landfills by filling our shoes and clothing donation bin with your gently used shoes, clothing, purses, belts, wallets, hats, caps, backpacks, hard toys, stuffed animals and pots and pans. For every pound collected from you, our PTSA receives $0.15 per pound.” Murphy Middle School had their bin for 61 months, collected 53,571 pounds and raised $8,036. Boggess Elementary had their bin for 15 months, they collected 7,103 pounds and raised $1,065 and McMillen High School had their bin for 7 months, collected 3,454 pounds and raised $518.
Virginia Simms, current McMillen High School PTSA Ways and Means VP, provided these 2017 – 18 school year fundraising results: Spirit Night from local restaurant, $10.33, Legends basketball hame (hosted by Plano ISD): $30, Kroger Community Partner: $1.13, Amazon Smile: $5.00 and World Wear Bin: $518 (3,454 pounds of donations that will not be put into landfills). She said, “… the World Wear bin was the only fundraiser that really helped the PTSA raise substantial funds. These funds are used to support teacher training, for awards to recognize student achievements, to improve the school as well as many other worthwhile endeavors. With the student's and parent's busy schedules; it is hard to find time to support the school in active ways. Being able to drop off donations was a way to help the school and "save the planet". I probably spent at least 3-4 hours getting two spirit nights set up and we only raised $10.”
Ross Cornell, current PTA President at Boggess Elementary said that in April of this year, Plano ISD contacted the World Wear Project representative to inform that they had received a message from Walter Hobert, Murphy Code Compliance Officer that the bins at the three schools violated a city code of ordinance and needed to be removed. The ordinance (Sec. 30.01.006) states, “Recycling kiosk. A small uninhabited structure, not to exceed 120 square feet, or temporary container which provides a self-service location for the depositing of recyclable materials such as aluminum cans, glass bottles, magazines/newspapers, metal or plastic containers, etc. Recyclables are picked up periodically from the site. This definition does not include large trailers or manned collection centers. This definition does not include donation boxes for clothing, toys, household goods, and similar items, which items are not permitted, nor have they ever been an allowed use in the city.” By May 28th, all three bins had been removed.
Cornell explained that the bin placement at Boggess served a dual purpose, “To provide the community with a convenient location to recycle common goods that still have usability that are commonly thrown away. To provide a passive source of income to the PTA that would directly benefit the students and staff of Boggess Elementary. Murphy schools, and their supporting organizations (PTAs/PTSAs), as with many schools across the State of Texas, have had to become more resourceful and creative over the years, as the State of Texas consistently ranks in the bottom 10 in per-student spending. PTAs and PTSAs often try to find passive sources of income to help bridge the gap in funding to help the students of the state reach their full potential. That, coupled with Boggess shrinking in population over the past three or four years, we’ve been actively seeking this type of community partner – where parent involvement is decreased for fundraising in an effort to make our volunteer needs more efficient.”
Cornell explained that PISD was not the originators of the idea to have the bins on the school property, that idea was formed and implemented by individual school organizations (PTA at McMillen and Boggess and the Environmental Club at MMS.)
Jared Mayfield, City of Murphy Director of Economic and Community Development said that the ordinance seems to have been in place since 2004. He said the bins at the three schools had just come to the city’s attention and that is why the code is being enforced now. He provided this update, “The City’s attorney is working on draft code revisions that will allow donation bins by permit in certain areas and ensure they are properly maintained.” Revisions are expected to be presented to City Council at the June 19th meeting.
Cornell reviewed surrounding cities’ ordinances and found no such similar ordinance prohibiting the placement of donation/recycling bins. He requests that Murphy residents contact their council members in support of the World Wear bins returning to the campuses of Murphy schools.