By Jessica Mathews /

Outdoor collection/donation bins are now being regulated in the Village of Pinckney.

At a recent Council meeting, members approved an ordinance to permit the bins in certain locations and hopefully keep them cleaned up. While the bins serve a purpose, they many times are not maintained and lead to blight. It was stated that some are owned by non-profit agencies but others are not and it’s hard to know who actually owns them in most cases.

The new ordinance will allow the Village to know what’s going on and keep a handle on the bins so they don’t become a nuisance. Permission must be obtained from a property owner and a permit obtained for a fee on an annual basis.

It was noted that problems also pop up because companies will drop off the bins but not consult with the property owner first.

Village President Rebecca Foster commented that the Village had a little explosion of collection bins popping up all over the place, mainly at the Post Office, and they become big trash heaps. She said what became apparent was that the bins would just show up in a parking lot and the owners didn’t want to be responsible for them so this will provide extra tools to allow them in certain places and make sure they’re cleaned up.

There was initial talk of regulating the bins via zoning ordinance but after research and review, it was determined to address them as a regulatory ordinance under the nuisance sections of code instead of zoning. The new process will allow the Village to have owner contact information, know where bins are being placed and the pick-up schedule to make sure they’re kept tidy.

Township Attorney David Stoker stated that both the property owner and the bin owner are responsible for the bins but the bin owner is responsible for obtaining a license. He noted that many communities don’t regulate the bins yet but it is becoming an issue in other states.

It was stated that the ordinance can always be amended if needed. Existing bins are required to come into compliance within 90 days.