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USAgain is green, as in for-profit

Dear Answer Man, what's with all the USAgain boxes that have sprung up around Rochester? That's a for-profit clothing recycler, I believe. Do places such as USAgain have an impact on Salvation Army and other nonprofits?

Not really, a manager at the Rochester Salvation Army Thift Store said this morning, but logic says the boxes will have some impact, however minimal. There are boxes all over town, which means it's a lot more convenient than going to Goodwill or Salvation Army during certain hours. Of course, you can donate many other types of items at the nonprofits, and you can claim a tax deduction, if you're into record-keeping.

At least USAgain is up-front on the boxes about being a for-profit company. On the web, the company is described as "a green for-profit enterprise that collects used clothes and resells them worldwide to conserve precious natural resources and greenhouse gases." It's based in Chicago and claims to have 10,000 collection bins in 15 states. They also claim to have kept a half-billion clothing items from going to landfills, though in fact many of those items might have gone to nonprofits instead.

There've been disputes in other cities where the donation boxes have been Salvation Army-red. The boxes in Rochester don't have that problem.

To give to Salvation Army , call 281-1561 for more details. For the Goodwill store in Rochester, call 281-9651.

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