The City of South Bend is trying to get a better idea of who is operating those clothing donation bins you see on a lot of street corners.
Most of the bins are run by charities like Goodwill, but some were put there by out-of-town for-profit companies, which don't always do a good job of maintaining the drop sites.
The Common Council passed a measure Monday night requiring operators to pay $25 per bin for a license.
Organizations will also be required to clearly post their name on the bin, they'll be required to monitor and empty the bin at least once a week, and they must provide the city with a reliable contact the city can call if there are any problems.
“In recent years we've seen a number of additional collection boxes arrive in our community and they're not all well maintained like those of the Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, and other local organizations,” said Ann Carol Nash, an attorney who worked on the legislation.
Some people worry the new regulations won't stop illegal dumping of things like old sofas or furniture next to the boxes. That's been a problem at some locations.
The city hopes licensing will help them better track where dumping is happening, and how often, so they can do something about it.