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Metro Newsroom

Metro Council approves ordinance to regulate donation bins in Metro Louisville

Tuesday December 18, 2012

For Immediate Release:
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137 / 526-3622
               Stephen Haag 574-1204 / 645- 1752

Louisville – In an effort to resolve what has become a growing problem in many areas of Metro Louisville and protect local nonprofit organizations, the Louisville Metro Council has approved a new ordinance to regulate donation bins.

The new law sets specific guidelines for licensing, location and maintenance for donation bins operated by for-profit and non-profit companies and organizations.

“In many of our districts there are a growing number of donation bins placed in areas with no regard for public safety or public health,” said Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13). “Now we can get the problem under control to prevent dumping, protect citizen donors and make business owners aware that they are responsible for the condition of the bins on their properties.”

Welch and other Council members became aware of the problem earlier this year when complaints began to arise over donation bins which were appearing on street corners and articles of clothing and other items being left outside of the bin making it a dumping location.

The complaints ranged from bins not clearly marked as to which organization was represented to bins popping up on street corners in many areas where the public view for streets, roads and sidewalks were blocked.

“The bin operators provide a valuable service to our community by recycling items that would have ended in our landfill,” said Councilman Rick Blackwell (D-12). “This ordinance balances the needs of the industry with the community's need to collect these items in an orderly manner.”

“This ordinance clearly spells which organizations are responsible for the bins. It is important that the public know beforehand what groups are asking for donations and this ordinance will clear up confusion,” says Councilman David Yates (D-25).

Highlights of the new ordinance:

· Licensing fees: The fee to obtain a license is an initial cost of $250 per company and $200 for annual renewal. The fee to obtain a permit is an initial cost of $300 per donation drop-off bin and $200 for annual renewal. A permit must be obtained for every donation drop-off bin that a person, owner, operator, or legal entity owns. Each donation drop-off bin shall display a current permit at all times. There will be no more than five bins per solicitor per district.

· Bins must sit on a hard and durable surface, be placed 50 feet from the front door of the building where licensed or in a well-lit area, the bin must be no more than six feet in height by six feet in width and five feet in depth. The bin must not interfere with the public view of a roadway or sidewalk.

· The bin must be clearly marked as a for profit bin. The lettering must be 3 inches high and a half inch wide

· The bins must be emptied on a regular basis. Bin must have a latch closing door, and no items will be permitted to collect on the outside of each structure.

Welch is a primary sponsor of the ordinance. Also signing on as sponsors are David Yates (D-25), Bob Henderson (D-14), Rick Blackwell (D-12), Robin Engel (R-22) and Jerry T. Miller (R-19).

The ordinance will take effect in 60 days upon its passage.

Vicki Aubrey Welch (D0 13
David Yates (D) 25
Bob Henderson (D) 14
Rick Blackwell (D) 12
Robin Engel (R) 22
Jerry T. Miller (R) 19
Mary C. Woolridge (D) 3
Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D) 5