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Clothing Donation Box (By-law No. 2013-98)


By-laws contained in this section have been prepared for reference purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information; however it is not to be used in place of actual by-laws.

Actual by-laws can be obtained at the following locations:

City Archives
James Bartleman Centre
100 Tallwood Dr. (Corner of Woodroffe)
Ottawa, Ontario
tel.: 613-580-2857
fax : 613-580-2614

Ottawa Public Library
120 Metcalfe, Ottawa Room

Highlights - Clothing Donation Box (By-law No. 2013-98)

The Clothing Donation Box By-law provides that non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses can place clothing donation boxes on private property (non-residential) with the following requirements:

  • Permission of the property owner.
  • The donation box must be properly maintained.
  • The area surrounding the donation box must be maintained in accordance with property standards and maintenance regulations.
  • The boxes must display signage that clearly identifies that the operator is a charity, non-private organization or a for-profit business; and, the name and address of both the property owner and clothing box operator must also be identified.

Clothing Donation Box (By-law No. 2013-98)

The City's Clothing Donation Box By-law (By-law No. 2013-98) was enacted to respond to the increasing concerns about improperly maintained clothing donation boxes that often displayed misleading signage. For information on the mandatory signage requirements for clothing donation boxes, please refer to the by-law.

WHEREAS section 8 of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c.25, as amended (the Municipal Act”) provides that the powers of a municipality shall be interpreted broadly so as to confer broad authority on the municipality to govern its affairs as it considers appropriate and to enhance its ability to respond to municipal issues;

AND WHEREAS subsection 10(2) of the Municipal Act provides that the municipality may pass by-laws regarding the health, safety and well being of persons;

AND WHEREAS section 128 of the Municipal Act provides that a municipality may prohibit and regulate with respect to public nuisances including matters that, in the opinion of Council, are or could become public nuisances;

AND WHEREAS the City of Ottawa deems it necessary to regulate clothing donation boxes to prevent public nuisances caused by the accumulation of debris in the vicinity of the clothing donation bins;

THEREFORE the Council of the City of Ottawa enacts as follows:

Section 1 - Definitions

“charity” means a registered charity as defined in subsection 248(1) of the Income Tax Act, R.S.C. 1985 (5th Supp) or successor legislation that has a registration number issued by the Canada Revenue Agency or successor agency.

“clothing donation box” means any receptacle used for the purpose of collecting clothing donations from the public;

“Chief” means the Chief, By-law and Regulatory Services or a designate;

“City” means the municipal corporation of the City of Ottawa;

“operator” means the operator of the clothing donation box;

“owner” means the owner or occupant of the private property on which the clothing donation box is located;

“private property” means any property not owned by the municipality;

Sections 2 to 10 - Regulations

Section 2

No operator shall place a clothing donation box on private property without the consent of the owner.

Section 3

  1. No operator shall fail to place the following information in a conspicuous place on the clothing donation box in lettering no smaller than Arial 150 font or other fonts of similar dimensions and in a contrasting colour:
    1. name and address of the owner;
    2. business name of the owner and operator, if applicable;
    3. type of organization if the operator not a charity;
    4. the Canada Revenue Agency registration number if the operator is a charity;
    5. the name, address and telephone number of the operator;
    6. schedule of times for pick up of donated clothing; and
    7. location of any alternative clothing donation boxes of the same operator.

Section 4

The operator shall ensure that the information contained in Section 3 is maintained current at all times.

Section 5

No owner shall fail to ensure that, a) the information required pursuant to Section 3 is provided on the clothing donation box; and b) the information required by Section 3 is kept current.

Section 6

No operator shall place a clothing donation box on property zoned residential.

Section 7

No owner shall permit a clothing donation box to be located on the property if the property is zoned residential.

Section 8 

No owner shall permit a clothing donation box to be placed on the property in a location that creates a visual obstruction for vehicular traffic or pedestrians.

Section 9 

No owner shall permit a clothing donation box to be placed on the property in a location that is within three metres of an access or egress to any property.

Section 10

The owner shall ensure that all areas immediately adjacent to the clothing donation box are maintained in accordance with the Property Standards By-law and the Property Maintenance By-law of the City.

Section 11 - Notice

  1. When any clothing donation box and the area immediately adjacent to the clothing donation box are not maintained pursuant to the requirements of this by-law, the Chief shall send a Notice, by registered mail or direct delivery of the Notice by hand to the owner or occupant’s last known address, requiring the owner or occupant as the case may be to make the clothing donation box and the surrounding land conform to the requirements of this by-law and the Notice shall specify the time allowed for compliance.
  2. The Notice contained in subsection (1) shall be deemed to have been given on the fifth day after it was mailed if it is sent by registered mail.
  3. No person shall fail to comply with a Notice sent pursuant to subsection (1)

Sections 12 to 14 - Default

Section 12

  1. Where a notice has been sent by the Chief pursuant to Section 11, and the requirements of the notice have not been complied with, the City may remove the clothing donation box or undertake work to bring the clothing donation box and the surrounding area into compliance with the by-law at the expense of the owner.
  2. The costs of the work or the removal pursuant to subsection (1) may be recovered from the owner by action or by adding the costs to the tax roll and collecting them in the same manner as taxes.

Section 13 

Every person who contravenes any provision of this by-law is guilty of an offence as provided for in subsection 429(1) of the Municipal Act, 2001.

Section 14

A person who is convicted of an offence under Section 13 of this by-law is liable to a minimum fine of $500.00 and a maximum fine of $100,000.00 as provided for in subsection 429(3)1. of the Municipal Act, 2001.

Section 15 - Effective Date 

This by-law shall be deemed to come into force and take effect on June 3, 2013.

ENACTED AND PASSED this 10th day of April, 2013.

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