Governor Jerry Brown Vetoes Bill that Threatened Charities

California Assembly Bill 1978 would have put charities such as Planet Aid that collect used clothing through donation boxes out of business in California. The bill would have created unusual and unprecedented hurdles on the organizations in contracting with businesses to place clothing collection boxes on the properties where they operate. Planet Aid has a contract with every business establishment or other organization that agrees to host one of its boxes. The bill would have effectively nullified these existing contracts, and instead would require that charities such as Planet Aid track down the owners of the property to get their express permission. The bill completely ignored the reality that the owners of commercial properties often have little if anything to do with the day-to-day operations of their tenants. In many cases these property owners are not even located in the same state. Nevertheless, the bill would have required charities to use whatever means necessary to track down these owners, no matter where they were and obtain their express permission. The result would have made it far less convenient for Californians to recycle, and more textiles would end up in landfills (click here for a summary of research related to this point).

Like Planet Aid, non-profits such as D.A.R.E America and others that would have been impacted by the bill simply do not have the resources to do extensive title searches of actual commercial property owners, track down the responsible party (particularly of an out of state or out of country corporate entity) and obtain written authorization. Even worse, the bill would have effectively authorized the immediate removal of the collection bins, by limiting the liability of towing companies who are hired by third parties to remove the bins.

Planet Aid joined others in voicing strong opposition to this bill. We applaud Governor Brown's decision in vetoing this bill, and in recognizing the contributions of charities such as Planet Aid to protect the environment and support community development. We are working diligently to help California meet its 75% recycling goal, a target that has been put in place by legislation signed by Governor Brown last year.  We are proud to be a part of making California the leader in recycling nationwide.

For more information, read the full press release issued by the opponents of the bill.