Clothing bin issue comes back to council

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The Baron Tweedsmuir IODE, a local group that runs a second-hand clothing store, will be at the April 24 Olds Council Policies and Priorities meeting to protest a town decision that enabled an Airdrie firm to have the only used clothing bins in the town recycling centre on 49th Avenue.

In January, Elisa Humphreys of Airdrie-based Clothing for a Cause, approached council asked to have her blue clothing bins located in the recycling centre exclusively, meaning the red Diabetes Canada used clothing bins would have to be moved elsewhere.

Humphrey said a portion of profits from her bins would go to the Pregnancy Care Centre in Olds. She said she needed exclusivity in order to make her operation viable.

Subsequently, town staff located her bins in the recycling centre and moved the Diabetes Canada bins to an area next to the bowling alley.

Joyce Quaife of the IODE says her group plans to make a presentation during the April 24 meeting arguing the Airdrie bins should not be the only ones in the town recycling centre. In fact, she’s not sure they should be in town at all.

She says residents need to know that operations like Second Time Around, the IODE’s second-hand clothing store, pump all their profits back into the community.

Although Clothing For A Cause says a portion of its profits will go to the Pregnancy Care Centre, Quaife notes it’s based in Airdrie, rather than Olds and a major stated objective is to support a non-profit humanitarian organization in Haiti.

In 2016, the local IODE gave $15,225 to 15 entities and non-profits in Olds. Of that figure, $2,500 went to the Pregnancy Care Centre. Beacon Hill School in Fort McMurray also received $1,500.

Quaife isn’t blaming council for the decision – which was undertaken by administrative staff. She thinks they were trying to do their best.

“I think the biggest problem is that people don’t know. I think a lot of the councillors don’t know. So I think they need to tell her to get that bin out of that recycling centre because that says, ëOK, the Town of Olds would like you to donate your clothes here.’ You go in there, you don’t know any better, what do you do?

“And I think more than people wanting to donate to that, they just don’t know where to donate, they just want to get rid of their clothes. And they don’t take into account that you know, the money goes back to the schools and to the hospital and to long-term care and the lodge and Breakfast For Learners – and you name it,” she says.

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Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.