After an amendment passed at a March 1 Houston City Council meeting, the rules governing donation boxes placed within city limits have changed.

In May 2021, the council approved an ordinance creating regulations and permit requirements for organizations that operate donation boxes within city limits. Under the amendment, this ordinance now includes larger "donation stations" placed and operated within the city of Houston.

"Back in November, we met with the [representatives] from Green Education Foundation and got a tour of these donation stations," Vice Mayor Pro-Tem Martha Castex-Tatum said. "I'm very impressed with these donation stations. They have cameras installed for 24-hour monitoring. When they notice on the cameras that there is debris around the donation station, they immediately dispatch and get those donation stations cleaned."

The new requirements for a donation station include:
  • they must be no larger than 1,360 cubic feet in volume;
  • they must be constructed of metal or steel;
  • they must be monitored 24 hours per day by a security camera system;
  • they must be equipped with exterior lighting fixtures; and
  • they may not be operated with a power source other than a storage battery, charged primarily with a solar panel.
Council Member Abbie Kamin acknowledged Castex-Tatum's work on the ordinance.

"It's benefiting the entire city and all of our districts, so I just wanted to lift up the work that you're doing there," Kamin said. "Thank you for bringing this forward expeditiously and for a partnership with this foundation to get these going, because it's fantastic."