Waste Not
Goodwill's New goBINs Allow People to Donate Goods Without Leaving Home

Goodwill San Francisco (SFGoodwill) has announced a new initiative that will make donating textiles as convenient as dropping a bottle in a recycling bin. Developed by global design firm frog in collaboration with SFGoodwill’s internal brand team specifically for use in multi-unit apartment towers, the new Goodwill goBINTM allows residents to donate unwanted clothing, shoes and other items without leaving their buildings.

goBIN“We were inspired by the idea of creating a bin that added to the character of a building while providing great concierge service,” said frog creative director Peter Michaelian. “The form factor is friendly while leveraging technology that enables a seamless and simplified experience for donors and facility managers to interact with Goodwill.”

Via the QR code on the goBINTM, donors can access an online donation tax form and learn more about how their donation is helping put local people in need back to work through SFGoodwill. A sensor inside the bin alerts Goodwill for pick-up before it reaches capacity, ensuring that the bin stays tidy. An internal rolling cart system will enable Goodwill drivers to service the bin in less than five minutes per trip.

On average, Americans send an astonishing 70 pounds of textiles per person to the dump every year. In San Francisco, that translates to 4,500 pounds of textiles entering our landfills every hour, making up 5 percent of the total volume of waste. The goBIN will help the city meet its ambitious “Zero Waste by 2020” goals.

The SF Department of Environment helped kickstart the Goodwill goBIN initiative by funding an innovative partnership grant between SFGoodwill and the city’s building-owner trade association. Leveraging the association’s communication network of property managers, Goodwill will be placing the goBINs in selected high-rise towers this year, focusing initially on buildings of 100 units or more.

Building owners are enthusiastic about offering the new amenity to residents.

“I am looking forward to getting this new bin for our residents and continuing to support the mission of Goodwill,” said Linda Corso, property manager of the Cathedral Hill Plaza high-rise on Gough Street. “I used to keep clothes left behind by departing residents in a storeroom until I had time to take them to Goodwill myself. Having the Goodwill bin on site will make life easier both for my residents and for me. It is win for all.”

“We’ll target putting a Goodwill goBIN in every big apartment and condo building in the city within 5 years to make donating textiles an everyday convenience,” said SFGoodwill CEO Maureen Sedonaen. “Every shirt, shoe and purse slipped into a goBIN will help us create local job opportunities for the chronically unemployed.”

More than 80 percent of Goodwill’s job training, job placement and employment partnerships are funded from the sale of goods donated by generous residents of the chapter’s three counties. Keeping these textiles in the local loop of Goodwill — versus allowing for-profit companies to funnel them away for overseas sale — keeps jobs and payroll taxes where they can do the most good for the local community.

Goodwill’s goBIN initiative is the second in as many weeks that will help the city reach its goal of zero waste (particularly textile waste) by 2020: Last week, I:CO, a leading global, end-to-end solutions provider for the reuse and recycling of clothing, shoes and other textiles, launched its first-ever I:CO City initiative with the City of San Francisco. The program creates a public, private and non-profit infrastructure to make it easy, convenient and rewarding for residents and businesses to recycle textile-related items.

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