City council looking for stricter regulation on donation bins

City council looking for stricter regulation on donation bins

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Drop off donation bins are popping up all across Knoxville, and now city officials are looking for stricter regulations. Drop off donation bins are popping up all across Knoxville, and now city officials are looking for stricter regulations.
By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Drop off donation bins are popping up all across Knoxville, and now city officials are looking for stricter regulations.

They’re an easy way to give back, just drop a bag of clothes into one of the standalone containers found in parking lots across the city.

That’s what Knoxville resident Wayne Freeman thought when he wanted to get rid of some clothes his son out grew.

“It’s no secret this area is one of the most giving places in the county as I was driving around I was seeing more and more of these bins and I was wondering where it’s going to?” said Freeman.

Previous story: Clothing donation bins: Where does your donation go?

These boxes are often owned by out-of-state and for-profit organizations, but now city council is working to regulate the growing number of bins.

Knoxville City Council is set to take up an ordinance Tuesday night to amend the zoning and definition of drop off donation boxes and trailers. 

After a work session last week, many council members felt they needed to take a deeper look at the problem.

“We’ve seen a proliferation of boxes and trailers across the city and I think all of council felt we needed to take stronger measures to regulate and perhaps prohibit these boxes from showing up at any retail or gas station,” explained city council member Marshall Stair.

Right now there is no regulation on these containers in the city. The Metropolitan Planning Commission drafted an ordinance that would define and create standards for the bins. but now City Council is looking for stricter measures.

“I’d like to see them prohibited and make sure the donated goods are going to the local organizations,” said Stair.

The other concern is their general appearance.

“They’re visual blight,” said Stair. “When you ask people they say yea these are ugly and we don’t need them in our community.”

Freeman agrees, saying he wishes he had known before donating that his old clothes wouldn't stay and help those in our community.

“I sure don’t want to be making a donation to someone in need and know someone’s turned around and making a profit off it,” he said.

City Council is expected to postpone the item on Tuesday night’s agenda. MPC director Mark Donaldson says its basically back to the drawing board. They have requested the city law department to look into what it would take to create stricter regulations concerning the bins.

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