Donation bins that collect used items – mostly clothing – can sometimes become magnets for illegal dumping.
Pasco County commissioners want to break that pattern with an ordinance establishing a registry and regulations on the location and oversight of the bins.
The county’s development review committee reviewed the draft ordinance on Sept. 28.
Public hearings on the ordinance are scheduled for Oct. 11 in Dade City, and October 25 in New Port Richey.
County commissioners got a preview of the proposed regulations at their Sept. 27 meeting.
“It’s been a pet peeve of mine,” said Elizabeth Blair, senior assistant county attorney, who made the presentation at the meeting.
Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore began pushing for regulations in February, and snapping photos of dumped furniture, televisions and bags of clothes that couldn’t fit into the overflowing bins.
“We need some relief,” he said. “This can’t continue.”
However, he added, “We want legitimate charities to continue receiving donations. Most of the charities do a good job of cleaning them out.”
The worst offenders, Moore said, are the companies and organizations that collect clothes to sell for profit.
The proposed regulations would apply to donation bins and also to semi-tractors or trailers, or other temporary facilities used to collect recyclable or for resale materials and goods.
Permanent facilities with collection operations, such as those associated with Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift stores, aren’t included. Also, donation bins set up during permitted events aren’t subject to the ordinance provided the bins are removed within 48 hours of the event’s conclusion.
The ordinance would restrict bins to general and neighborhood commercial districts as well as light manufacturing and general industrial park districts. They also would be allowed in nonresidential areas within commercial and industrial districts that are part of master-planned developments. The regulation would require a company name, contact information and a tracking number be visible on the bins.
The proposed ordinance also calls for requiring permits to be be obtained before the placement of any donation bin. It would allow just one bin per location. However, a second bin can be approved if the location has more than 300 feet of road frontage.
The ordinance would prohibit placing bins in rights of way.
Other proposed requirements include:
- Site plans detailing locations
- Written consent from the property owner, or a legal representative of the owner
- A pickup schedule for emptying and maintaining the bins
- Proof applicants can legally operate a business in Pasco and the state
Permits for the bins would be renewed annually.
Published October 5, 2016