Battle over donations bins in Louisville is over - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Battle over donations bins in Louisville ends

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The fight between Special Olympics Kentucky and the Louisville Metro Council began in 2012. The fight between Special Olympics Kentucky and the Louisville Metro Council began in 2012.
Metro Councilwoman Vicki Welch Metro Councilwoman Vicki Welch

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After months of negotiations, a deal has been struck after a non-profit organization filed a lawsuit claiming an ordinance involving donation bins was illegally passed causing them to lose money.

The fight between Special Olympics Kentucky and the Louisville Metro Council began in 2012. Louisville Metro Council started getting complaints people were dumping everything imaginable around the bins, which are meant for items such as clothing. When the council tried to regulate the issue with an ordinance Special Olympics Kentucky said it went way too far and filed a suit against the council in federal court.

At the time Metro Councilwoman Vicki Welch said of the bins, "They don't take furniture and there's furniture everywhere."

To help ease dumping, the Louisville Metro Council laid down some serious restrictions like a $300 permit fee per bin that would have cost Special Olympics Kentucky a lot of money with some 90 bins in the Louisville area.

Special Olympics Kentucky also said another requirement that each bin be within 50 feet of the business's front door was ridiculous. Trish Mazzoni, the Executive Director for Special Olympics Kentucky said in February, "Every place where we have a bin, we have permission and we have written consent by the business owner that they want to support Special Olympics and they want to be a part of this program," she continued, "they don't want that bin within 50 feet of the front door and if I owned a businesses I wouldn't either."

The organization feared businesses would just say no to the bins that in 2011 raised $150,000 for local programs.

After the lawsuit was filed, Metro Council changed it's ordinance in May, bringing the fee per bin way down to $50, but the Council stood it's ground on the distance rule saying it would help keep people safer if they donated near the door.

Welch said lawyers wrangled for months and ultimately the Metro Council stepped back from the 50 feet from the door rule.

"We did have to concede that," Welch said, "to agree on 75 feet from any wall, so that's a big difference."

In the end Welch said, "We want this to come to a close because this thing has been going on for well over a year."

The permits allow the city to know exactly where each bin is, which can help when trying to keep an eye on new bins, especially those from out of state organizations.

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