An ordinance has been adopted to help regulate donation bins throughout the City of Howell.

The ordinance was officially adopted at a recent City Council meeting and establishes various standards. After it becomes law, any donation bins in the City will need to be in compliance or face fines. The ordinance is aimed at controlling the spread of different donation bins, which officials say often multiple on vacant properties and bring trash issues. The bins are typically found in various parking lots but council, the planning commission and some community members felt it was becoming a little bit over the top with the number of bins and locations. The ordinance sets up a regulatory structure to make sure the bins are registered, that there is a fee to place them and then contact information so the City can keep track of where the bins are located and who is responsible for them in case any issues arise.

The City had nothing on the books to regulate the bins and City Manager Shea Charles said it was kind-of a loophole out there and most communities are facing the same challenge. He tells WHMI they’ll begin the enforcement process and there will be 90-days before the ordinance goes into effect. He says they’ll be reaching out to the various bins throughout the community as well as the property owners to give them an opportunity to get licensed and registered and then go from there. The ordinance itself was modeled after a couple of others that have been approved in other communities and have already been through legal challenges, thus are good models to follow. Charles has said they’re comfortable that the ordinance will meet current case law on a go-forward basis. A memo states staff if prepared to enforce the ordinance and will do so well in advance of the deadline to ensure everyone has enough time to apply. (JM)