PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Donations bins are supposed to help families in need, but in Pasco County they’ve become a nuisance.
“Just the other day we had to send county staff out to clean up 10 to 15 mattresses, a refrigerator, couches and other stuff from one site,” said Commissioner Mike Moore.
Nearly two years ago county leaders adopted a new ordinance requiring the owners of the donation bins to apply for a permit.
“It didn’t happen,” Moore said. “We did see the bins disappear for a while. They’re back now, and they’re worse than ever.”
The county is now going to collect the bins as evidence against the people who own them.
“The message to the people that are placing these bins here illegally is ‘we’re going to find you and we’re going to prosecute you',” said Moore.
It’s a third-degree felony if the trash outside the bins weighs over 500 pounds. If convicted, a person can end up with a heft fine and a five year prison stay.
Moore has a message for the people who dumping their couches, mattresses and trash in front of the bins.
“We will find you too,” he said. “You may not know this but in Pasco County there’s going to be a few cameras at some of these sites.”
County staff started removing some of the bins. The plan is to have them all gone by July.