Everything Should Have A Home. A Resolution To Encourage Brookline Retailers To Donate Unsold Merchandise

Petitioner: Girl Scout Troop 62558, Maria Arado-McDonald, Ann Kamensky

Special Town Meeting, November 2018

To determine if the Town will adopt a Resolution to encourage commercial entities operating in the Town to donate unopened and unused, non-expired stock to appropriate non-profit charities, instead of throwing them in the store dumpster. These items include non-food (i.e. clothing, school supplies) and food items. Reuse is a vital early technique to reduce overall waste streams and is easily implemented at the local level. Materials included in single-stream disposal systems that are later reclaimed for re-use represent a missed opportunity for nonprofit and environmentally conscious entities and the commercial entities who operate herein; while the Commonwealth's residents benefit directly from the donations, businesses may assess the full value of the (unopened and unused) items donated for tax purposes, rather than a fraction of that value recovered pursuant to downstream recycling activities and/or the environmental impact of discarding the items.

Official Town Meeting Vote Select Board Advisory Board

Favorable Action

Favorable Action

Favorable Action




Final Result:

Favorable Action

Community Organization Recommendations
PAX Green Caucus

Favorable Action

Official Text of the Article

WHEREAS, the Town has a duty to protect the natural environment, the economy, and the health of its citizens; and

WHEREAS, commercial entities operating within the Town are required to comply with comprehensive waste disposal regulations; and

WHEREAS, as an element of many waste disposal compliance plans, local commercial entities engage in so-called "single-stream" recycling, whereby all recyclable material is disposed in a single container, which is transported to a remote site for sorting; and

WHEREAS, Girl Scout 62558 has learned that some commercial entities include new, unopened, and unused materials into the shops dumpsters, particularly seasonal materials (i.e. clothing, shoes, school supplies); and

WHEREAS, downstream processing of recyclable materials adds energy and other environmental costs; and

WHEREAS, donation of new, unopened and unused items to charities within our Commonwealth would directly benefit its neediest residents; and

WHEREAS, commercial entities would directly benefit from a smaller trash bill and tax write off for donating to nonprofits

WHEREAS, donations are generally subject to favorable tax treatment;

WHEREAS, when acting on this Resolution, retail stores will get a decal to display stating, "this store does more about going green," allowing customers to know about the stores commitment to eliminating environmental waste and helping those in need.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOL VED THAT the Town shall establish a voluntary donation program whereby businesses operating within the Town segregate new, unopened and unused items from being tossed into the store dumpsters and allow charities operating within the Commonwealth reasonable opportunity to inspect, accept and transport any such items prior to inclusion in the commercial trash stream, with such program encouraging the following:
1) Stores work with non-profit organizations to donate unsold merchandise.
2) Stores will receive a decal, to display, stating, "This store does more about going GREEN"
3) This action will reduce the environmental impact of unsold merchandise being placed in the trash stream, and
4) Unsold merchandise will be redirected to help a person in need.

Or act on anything relative thereto