Officials in Waterloo say proposed changes to the city’s business licensing bylaw are all about consumer protection.

Councillors heard Monday about the bylaw, and specifically what it would mean for roofing and paving companies.

Specifically, it would require them to get a licence from the city in order to operate – theoretically reducing the chance of fraud.

“What we want to do is regulate that industry,” said Jim Barry, Waterloo’s director of enforcement services.

“The one thing we can give is knowledge. Right now, people come in and they don’t know anything about the company they’re hiring.”

Also affected by the bylaw would be clothing donation bins, some of which donors mistakenly assume are for charity even though they are not.

Under the bylaw, the owners of the bins would have to pay a $140 licence, as well as an $82 dollar charge per bin.

They would also have to secure permission from the property owner before leaving bins on a property – and would have to label the bin with a clear explanation of where the money goes.

“If people think they’re supporting a charity, then it needs to be clear that that is what they are doing,” said Coun. Scott Witmer.

If approved by councillors, the bylaw would take effect in January.