City Protects Local Charities by Eliminating “Donation Dumpsters” in Time for Giving Season; Model Shared with All Indiana Counties

MARION, IN: (Nov. 29th, 2016) – At least 22 donation bins that once sat in random parking lots throughout Marion are no longer found nor allowed, thanks to initiatives taken by the Community Foundation of Grant County and the City of Marion. Senior Code Enforcement Officer, Ken Hussong, said he was approached by members of the Community Foundation late last year, inquiring on what could be done about the bins which the Foundation calls “Donation Dumpsters.” Foundation director, Dawn Brown, explained the drop boxes were often overflowing due to lack of regular maintenance which, among other things, raised questions of their legitimacy. When the City and the Foundation researched sources of the soliciting bins, they discovered the donations were all being taken out of not only Grant County, but outside the state for re-distribution. Further research unveiled most of the companies running the operations are for-profit. Brown strongly stated, “this practice hurts the business of our legitimate local non-profits. They see a significant decrease in gently used donation items which harms their ability to help people in need, and our residents suffer.”

Hussong also emphasized, “There are plenty of local organizations including churches that would take these items that are being shipped away.”

Throughout this year, members of the City administration and Common Council Ordinance Committee worked on creating an ordinance which was passed this fall, essentially banning donation drop boxes within city limits. They also took action by having all of them removed. The City of Marion’s model has been shared with all 92 counties for community leaders to use as a tool in combating the problem.

The ordinance may be found attached to this press release while it is being processed by the City’s code publishing source, American Legal. The new ordinance will be accessible online mid-2017 at

The Community Foundation has provided a list of local non-profit organizations accepting donations. The list is also attached to this press release.

According to Hussong, Marion/Grant County residents who may have been regularly using the donation drop boxes need to know where they may donate items, especially in time for the holidays. “I hope this change has opened up an avenue for people to donate locally.”

Nonprofit-Spreadsheet.pdf218.13 KB
Ordinance 13-2016.pdf488.49 KB

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