LELAND, NC (WECT) – Donation boxes are starting to pop up in parking lots of local stores as businesses and non-profit groups collect items for the holiday season.
Some of the boxes are taking on a different look in the Leland area, and at least one politician is thinking about taking them away.
Right now, there are no regulations for donation boxes. You can find several of them across the town of Leland. However, one town councilor says that needs to change. Jane Crowder wants to see all of the boxes removed. She says the boxes are starting to look more like dumpsters.
"I have no qualms with donations. This time of year people need help," said Crowder. "But the issue is having the boxes out here and people dumping stuff on the sides. I came out here one day and there was a mattress out here and as you can see there are some shoes out here now."
Another part of the problem is that most of the boxes are placed in crowded parking lots which could create traffic problems on busy shopping days.
Crowder has requested that the town should consider removing all the boxes permanently, but that idea doesn't sit well with non-profit group leaders like Major Richard Watts.
He works with the local chapter of the Salvation Army.
"Maybe some type of regulation would be fine but to remove them altogether would be an overreaction," said Watts.
Watts believes that the removal of donation boxes would have a negative effect on the community.
"Not so much on the agency as it is on the people they serve," said Watts. "There would be people without clothes or coats or shoes if they decide to remove the boxes."
Crowder has agreed to work with the Salvation Army to come up with alternative options. However, as a town councilor, she has just one goal in mind.
"We are trying to beautify this area and we don't want people to use these as trash dumps," said Crowder.
Right now, members of the Leland Planning and Zoning Board are considering this issue but have not yet taken action. Before any decision is made on whether or not to actually remove the boxes, a public hearing must be held. That hearing is tentatively scheduled for next month.
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