Bin Donated gives items new life

March 12, 2010 4:03:31 PM PST
A Chicago man wants to claim the title of "middle man." He's picking up items you no longer need and dropping them off to people who can use them.The name of the company? "Bin Donated." Its slogan? "Gone for good."

When you give your old, unwanted items to this organization, not only are they out of your way forever, but they stay out of landfills and help someone in need.

One Lake Shore condo building donated a whole barrel full of books.

"These books will be going to to Chicago Public Schools, Open Books and WITS, which is working with Chicago Public Schools," said Judson Kinnucan, Bin Donated founder.

Bin Donated is Kinnucan's new non-profit organization and brainchild.

"About seven months ago, I was a recruiter here in Chicago helping people get jobs in sales. And at the end of the day, I just didn't feel 100-percent fulfilled by what I was doing," Kinnucan said.

He found a way to fill that void and do more good. Every month, he places empty barrels inside commercial and residential buildings, along with a sign noting what's being collected. Last month, it was hygiene products. Next month, it'll be non-perishable foods. This month, it's books. Joel Holland coordinates barrel placements and recruits volunteers.

"A lot of other charities organizations, the only way to volunteer is to help with explicit events. Here, you can donate your time, your energy, like kind donations, like the books we're collecting this month," Holland said.

After they collect the barrels, they take the books to a storage facility to sort them by age, category and condition. They will then deliver them to organizations that will disburse them to needy children and adults.

"I'd really like to take this nationwide. There's really no reason why this doesn't work in Indianapolis, New York, Atlanta," said Kinnucan. "It doesn't matter. So this year, we'd like to get the formula down here in Chicago, understand exactly how it can work and then take it national."

The barrels themselves are also reused. They are donated by Ferrara Pan, the local candy company that makes Lemonheads. Those are the barrels in which their flavorings are delivered.

If you'd like more information about where to find a donation barrel or maybe you'd like to host one in your building, school or place of worship, visit