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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 24, 2016 02:34 PM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Regulation of Donation Bins
I plan to introduce legislation regulating containers or bins placed in outdoor locations by organizations to collect donated clothing or other items for charitable purposes.

A number of concerns have been raised with the proliferation of large metal donation bins being placed in our communities for the purpose of collecting clothing, household items or similar goods for charity. Many of these bins are not properly labeled or mislead donors. Some donation bins may be owned by a non-profit organization and revenues are directed for charitable purposes, but others are owned by for-profit companies with no charitable function and sell the items for a profit. Another concern is that these donation bins have been placed on land without authorization of the owner of the property. In addition, many bins are not regularly collected and become a target for litter and dumping.

To help address these problems my legislation would require that donation bins be clearly and conspicuously labeled with the organization’s name, address, phone number, electronic mail address and a statement expressing the purpose (charitable or non-charitable) for which the organization exists.

The measure also requires that, prior to placing any collection or donation bin, the person placing the bin must obtain notarized written permission from the owner or lessee of the property. In addition, the bill provides that the owner of the container shall maintain the donation bin in a structurally sound, clean and sanitary condition and empty the bin at least every two weeks. The property owner may request removal of the bin by submitting a written request to the address listed on it and the organization responsible for the bin must remove it within 30 days. If the organization fails to comply, the owner or leaseholder of the property shall have the right, without additional notice, to take possession of, remove and dispose of the bin without incurring any civil or criminal liability.

This measure will help to ensure that donation bins for charity are operated in a fair and reasonable manner. The proposal is modeled after a Tennessee law enacted in 2015.

Introduced as SB1179