HAMMOND | Property owners in the city may soon become responsible for the upkeep of donation bins on their site.
The Hammond City Council is weighing a proposed ordinance that would require property owners to maintain and remove excess items and litter around bins or drop boxes.
Councilwoman Janet Venecz, D-at large, is sponsoring the ordinance following complaints of overloaded bins around a Robertsdale grocery store.
“There are a couple of problems,” Venecz said. “People who donate and the bins are full, they set them outside of the bins. The other problem is the people going through the bins and tossing the items outside the bins.”
The ordinance would also require the bin's owner to place a copy of written permission of the property owner on the box, along with their contact information and that of the property owner.
Property owners who fail to maintain boxes could face a fine, according to the ordinance.
“People can easily get inside the ones in Robertsdale and go through everything,” Venecz said. “Everybody understands times are tough, and people are trying to make ends meet with whatever they can.
"But when you don't respect the residents and the neighborhood and our city then we have a problem with that.”
The City Council gave initial approval to the ordinance at Monday's meeting and sent it to committee for further review.
Bonnie Henry, who leads the Robertsdale/Whiting Crime Watch, said she noticed overloaded bins near 119th Street and Calumet Avenue last summer.
"They are popping up all over the city," Henry said. "On every single corner you go to are these bins...I don't think it looks good to have bins practically on every corner in Hammond."