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Donation Bin Crackdown Proposed in Baltimore County

John Lee

Owners of donation bins in Baltimore County would be more tightly regulated under legislation the county council will consider Tuesday afternoon.

Council members say the bins have become dumping grounds.

The bins collect everything from books to clothes. But around the bins people are leaving everything from toys to mattresses. The legislation includes requiring bin owners to have a way they can be reached 24-7. They would be responsible for anything dumped by their bins and if they don’t clean it up they can be fined and their permit revoked.

Council Chairwoman Cathy Bevins is sponsoring the legislation.

“It’s not about the people that own the bins, Bevins said. “It’s about the people in the community. Because clearly on these bins it says, ‘do not leave anything outside these bins.’”

Bevins said it has taken months to get organizations to remove bins that have become eyesores.

“We have a problem with rodents,” Bevins said. “We have a problem with trash in certain neighborhoods and this is just adding to it.”

Planet Aid collects old clothes and has 236 collection bins on 182 sites in Baltimore County. Paul Delponte, communication director for Planet Aid, said some of the proposed legislation is unclear but the organization will study it further.

“Planet Aid supports the county and other jurisdictions that hold all bin operators accountable,” Delponte said. “The proposed legislation contains a number of items that are modeled after what Planet Aid is currenty doing.”

The council is expected to vote on the bin crackdown February 18. The legislation has the support of five of the seven members of the county council.

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2