Update: February 15
Because of our pending lawsuit, the Louisville Metro recycling bin ordinance will not go into effect as originally planned on February 22.
We look forward to a resolution that will allow us to continue this program that provides so many services for our athletes.
We thank the Special Olympics Kentucky Family for your continued support.
Original Statement: Friday, February 8
Special Olympics Kentucky filed a lawsuit in federal court today in Louisville seeking injunctive relief from a Metro Louisville ordinance that heavily restricts the placement of drop-off recycling bins in the Metro area.
We believe the ordinance is unconstitutional and discriminates against Special Olympics Kentucky, and other charities, which outsource collection of donated goods. Our recycling program in partnership with Ohio Mills Corp. has provided a crucial revenue stream for us during difficult economic times for non-profit organizations. Our partnership with Ohio Mills generated more than $24,000 in the Louisville area and more than $88,500 statewide the past year. Since our partnership with Ohio Mills began in 2011, it has been the source of more than $150,000 of funding for Special Olympics programs in Kentucky, enabling Special Olympics Kentucky to provide more services to more Kentuckians.
Special Olympics Kentucky is not opposed to regulation regarding collection bins. In fact, we offered a compromise that treats all charities equally, but these efforts were rejected. Metro Louisville enacted an ordinance that unconstitutionally restricts Special Olympics Kentucky’s ability to earn revenue from this source. The portion of the ordinance requiring SOKY to post signage stating that donations are not tax-deductible is false and inaccurate. Our bins are clearly marked with the Special Olympics Kentucky logo and wording concerning the deductibility of donations, which was approved by the Kentucky Attorney General. Our bins are serviced by a team of local employees who are dedicated to collection and maintenance of bins.
We are proud of our relationship with Ohio Mills. It is a family business whose bins help keep some of the more than 20 billion pounds of clothing discarded each year out of landfills. With only about 15% of discarded clothing being recycled currently, there is no shortage of material for local organizations to collect.
While our partnership with Ohio Mills spans only two years, the company has been a strong advocate for Special Olympics programs for more than 15 years in other states. In our association with Ohio Mills, the company has been a valuable partner for our program and our athletes. We hope to be able to continue this partnership for many years to come.