Donation Drop Boxes
Donation Drop Boxes are permitted on commercially-zoned property only. These boxes can only be placed with the express written permission of the property owner along with a permit from the Prince William County Zoning office. Please click here for the PWC Donation Drop Box application form.
The guidelines for the usage of Donation Drop Boxes per the Prince William Zoning Code (Section 32-400.22, click here) are as follows:
Donation drop-off boxes as defined in Part 100 of this Chapter, shall be permitted only in accordance with the following standards and procedures:
1. Donation drop-off boxes shall not be allowed in any residential or agricultural zoning district, except on properties where a special use permit exists for a place of religious worship or assembly.
2. Donation drop-off boxes are permitted only on properties that contain a primary permitted use.
3. Donation drop-off boxes shall be separated by a distance of at least 500 feet.
4. Donation drop-off boxes are subject to the issuance of a Zoning Permit and upon receipt of written authorization by the property owner or legal representative.
5. Donation drop-off boxes shall not obstruct pedestrian or vehicular circulation, nor be located in public rights-of-way, required building setbacks, landscape areas, drive aisles, required parking spaces, fire lanes, loading zones, buffers or any other location that may cause hazardous conditions, constitute a threat to the public safety, or create a condition detrimental to surrounding land uses.
6. Each donation drop-off box shall have a firmly closing lid and shall have a capacity no greater than six cubic yards. No donation drop-off box shall exceed seven feet in height.
7. Donation drop-off boxes may be constructed of painted metal, rubber, wood, or plastic and shall be properly maintained in a safe and good condition.
8. Donation drop-off boxes shall be clearly marked to identify the specific items and materials requested to be left for donation, the name of the operator or owners of the donation container, the entity responsible for maintenance of the drop-off box and removal of materials and trash from the immediate area, and a telephone number where the owner, operator or agent of the owner or operator may be reached at any time. The box shall display a notice stating that no items or materials shall be left outside of the donation drop-off box as well as a notice that shall read "Not for refuse disposal. Liquids are prohibited. Do not use for garbage, candy wrappers, soft drink bottles, etc."
9. Occupation of parking spaces by donation drop-off boxes shall not reduce the number of available parking spaces below the minimum number required for the site.
10. All donated items must be collected and stored in the donation drop-off box. Donated items or materials shall not be left outside of donation drop-off boxes and the area around each box shall be maintained by the owner or operator, or the property owner, free of litter and any other undesirable materials.
11. In addition to the above referenced requirements and procedures, donation drop-off boxes that accept used clothing (exclusively or in part) shall adhere to the regulations pertaining to used clothing containers in Article II of Chapter 22
of the Prince William County Code.
If you see overflowing donation boxes like this in your community, please contact Neighborhood Services at 703-792-7018.
The Zoning Ordinance for the regulation of Donation Drop Boxes can be found here.
For questions regarding your permit, the application process, and other Zoning-related questions, please contact the PWC Zoning Office can be reached at 703-792-7615.