This is the last known photograph (click to enlarge) of the USAgain clothes collection box that underwent a long, painful removal from the corner of Underhill Ave. and Prospect Place. It looks like well-meaning neighbors of yours were still trying to stuff old clothes in the blood-red behemoth, despite the fact that the the box was clearly out of commission (and despite the fact that USAgain is not a charity, but a private company that makes money from your donations).
Now that at least 2 of the USAgain boxes in this city have been NIMBYed into obscurity, is USAgain making a swift retreat from the territory? On the contrary–in fact, they are hiring. USAgain is offering $35-$45k per year–plus commission–for someone to “canvass the territory and identify suitable locations for drop-off boxes” in New York City and Long Island. Must have own car.
Bonus! Charles Star had the foresight to take a picture of the box that used to sit next to Espinal Grocery, the bodega at Underhill and Sterling, back when the box was still in relatively pristine condition… He included it in his write-up “Eyesore of the Month” in Stay Free Magazine. According to Charles, “the owner … asked the company to remove the box in front of his store after someone started a fire inside it. Meanwhile, the box at the corner of Washington and Lincoln now bears the graffito, ‘For-profit corporation. Donate to charity instead.'” Is that box gone, too?
EXCLUSIVE! Quig investigates: "At first glance, 69 Underhill looks like a example of cardboard, spit & hope urban renewal. where glass should be. Where once this building and its sister (67) were the typical example of the post-Robert Moses, present-crack urban blight, they are now standing out for their as-yet unrealized potential."
"According to ACRIS, these buildings are owned by the same person, Hubert S. Drew. If you Google that name, a person (maybe not him) comes up as a board member of Community Board 9."
"In any other market, excuses could be made about how money can not be found to renovate or sell this property. Seeing that Drew bought these properties in in 1983 (probably for the price of a Delorean) he could pony up at least a can of paint to cover up the graffiti."
"My guess is that he’s waiting for the right developer to come along at the right time with the right truckload of money. In the meantime, we are treated to these buildings as a canvas for the local graffiti artists."
COMING SOON! THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS on Hot, Hot Vanderbilt Avenue.
As Emily pointed out, and I had already forgotten, this storefront (Home Heating Oil – Coming Soon) was the former home of The Nail Gazaasm (sp?), the name of which I think was derived from an old comedy routine. I wish I could remember the reference.
Alert readers quig and staceyjoy report that the bright red clothes dumpster and graffiti magnet, which we complained about yesterday, has been shown the curb.
Many people donating to USAgain think they’re giving to the poor, but TIME magazine reported that the firm actually sold 8 million pounds of clothing in 2002. An excerpt we found, which appears to be from the same TIME article, says that the company "partners with dozens of schools and churches, that are paid $20 to $40
per ton of clothing collected, which USAgain sells for a few hundred
Further: "…business owners who agree to host the boxes are often just as clueless.
"Never, never did they mention they were making money off of it," says
Kathleen Murtz, who accepted a request from the company to place a bin
outside her home-decor boutique in Lake Zurich, Ill. "If I had known
they were going to sell the clothing for profit, I wouldn’t have gotten
In this letter, "Matthias" presents a rebuttal to critics who think USAgain is a greedy, deceptive corporation.
We don’t complain much, but we don’t like this giant, fire-truck-red clothing dumpster, brought here by a private corporation that resells your clothing for profit. Won’t someone please let Mr. Clothes Landfill out of his cage so he can go away? Or is that chain-link fence there to protect it from the vandalism that (I assume) led to the removal of his cousin at Underhill Ave. and Sterling Pl.?