LIMA — Concerned about a growing number of used clothing donation bins popping up in the city, a local business owner took his concerns to Lima City Council. Now, members of the council are weighing options for addressing the concern. Possible solutions range from a permitting process all the way to an outright ban.
David Roznowski, owner of Neighborhood Relief Thrift Store, said the bins are coming from out-of-the-area companies with little, if any, benefit to the local community. Roznowski also said if the number of bins dramatically increases it could affect his business and his ability to give back to local charities.
“We need to look at other cities, we need to know the problems other cities have had, how this affects local charities, how it doesn’t benefit the local community,” Roznowski said. “We need to take that information and we need to decide do we really want this in Lima, do we really need this in Lima. We need to make some hard decisions.
“We have an obligation to the community here in Lima to be faithful with their donations and to help the people who desperately need help in our own community. It’s not that we don’t want to help other entities, agencies outside the community but I feel like we have a responsibility to help the local community first.”
On Monday, members of City Council’s Neighborhood Concerns Committee took up the issue and directed the city law director to look into possible solutions and how other cities have dealt with the issue.
“I believe these bins are going to grow to a number we can not control. All are not legit and no money or tax is coming back into the city,” said 3rd Ward Councilor Jesse Lowe, who chairs the committee. “Businesses who allow such bins need to be responsible for their clean up. If people want to donate, donate local to help your neighbors here in the United States of America, not to somewhere overseas. Take care of home first.”
Second Ward Councilor Sam McLean and Police Chief Kevin Martin expressed concerns with enforcement. Martin said the Police Department doesn’t have the time or manpower to be tasked with enforcement.
“I’m not opposed to a ban,” McLean said. “I’m just trying to figure out how we enforce it.”