Rome's rubbish agency fined for selling charity clothes

AMA penalised for making Romans believe they were donating to charity.

The Italian anti-trust authority has handed down a €100,000 fine to Rome's rubbish collection agency AMA Roma for "improper commercial practices" in relation to its collection of second-hand clothes.

AMA was penalised for the notices placed on its clothes collection points which led people to believe they were donating clothes to charity while in reality the clothes were being resold.

The two companies contracted by AMA to process the clothes were also fined €110,000 between them. The antitrust body found that the firms Bastiani and Sol.co (the latter of which is under investigation as part of the Mafia Capitale case) used disingenuous slogans designed to manipulate people into believing they were donating clothes for the needy, instead of for commerical purposes. The notices placed on the yellow bins included messages such as "Items in good condition will be recycled as clothing", "Thank you for your help", and "Help us to help [others]".

 AMA

For its part, AMA was found guilty of not "excercising sufficient supervision" over the two companies; of not providing correct information on the clothing bins – as required by law; and for not offering information on its website regarding "the true process and end purpose of the collections."

The antitrust body said that once it launched proceedings the three companies moved to correct their practices, but they didn't move fast enough for the authority, hence the hefty sanctions.

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Photo Il Fatto Quotidiano