RCMP and BC Coroners Service investigate after a man was found dead in this Surrey donation bin in 2016, near 150th Street and 104th Avenue. (Now-Leader file photo)

Surrey council decides not to ban donation bins in wake of deaths

In a split vote, council votes to keep existing approach to handling donations bins

Surrey council has voted against a ban on donation bins, instead deciding to keep the city’s existing approach, following a man being found dead in a bin in West Vancouver on Dec. 30, 2018.

Currently, the city doesn’t have a bylaw that bans or regulates the bins.

Councillors Brenda Locke, Jack Hundial, Steven Pettigrew and Linda Annis voted in opposition of the status quo during a March 11 meeting.

Locke wanted to see a “total ban” noting they’re “just too dangerous.”

“I’m not willing to see another person die a really, really tragic death due to a donation bin,” said Locke, adding there have been five deaths in Toronto in the last five years, and four deaths in B.C. in the last three years including one near Guildford mall in 2016.

“I hope that members of this council will consider joining with other cities, six other cities in Metro Vancouver, that have also banned these bins,” Locke remarked.

RELATED: Body found in West Vancouver clothing donation bin, Dec. 31, 2018

RELATED: Woman dies after getting trapped in Toronto clothing donation bin, Jan. 8, 2019

But Councillor Laurie Guerra said she would “absolutely not be in favour of ceasing the use of these bins.”

“In my past life I was the president of a non-profit association asnd these bins have provided many, many, many resources,” said Guerra, referring to the Autism Socety of B.C.

“As far as I am aware, every one of the bins now that are in existence are checked to make sure the changes have been made so people can’t get stuck in these bins. So I’m not in favour of discontinuing use of these bins.”

Hundial stressed his desire to ban the bins, saying he believes there are “other mechanisms for non-profits” to elicit donations.

“I find them kind of unsightly as well,” Hundial added.

RELATED: Surrey reviewing clothing bin safety in wake of deaths, Jan. 15, 2019

RELATED: Inclusion BC announces plan to pull 146 clothing-donation bins, Jan. 4, 2019

The City of Surrey doesn’t have a bylaw that either bans or explicitly regulates donation bins. While the city doesn’t allow donation bins on city property, they are permitted at Surrey fire halls.

In a report to council, Surrey staff had recommended the city continue its existing approach to handling donations bins – which was the approach adopted. Two alternatives were provided for council’s consideration: a total ban or establishing a regulation system for the bins.

Staff told council the bins “do not pose a safety risk to the public if used as intended,” and they don’t require additional oversight from the city.

The city’s Bylaw Enforcement, Compliance and Licensing division determined there are 147 donation bins throughout the city. Most of the bins are in private parking lots, Surrey School District sites and various temples and churches. Of the 147 bins, 24 are at fire halls, which are operated by the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society, staff note.

However, the report states that as of late February, 64 of the 147 bins “appear to have been removed by property owners and/or owners of the bins.”

Meantime, the Surrey School District has removed all 42 clothing bins from school properties “as a result of safety concerns highlighted by the recent death.”

With files from Amy Reid

READ ALSO: City of Delta shifts stance on ban of clothing donation bins, Feb. 14, 2019



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Just Posted

UFV introduces first mindfulness graduate program in Canada

Most of the University of the Fraser Valley program is offered online

How will changes to Abbotsford’s bus system affect you

Ten different routes will see changes this summer as the city’s transit system gets an overhaul

Punching Parkinson’s in the Fraser Valley

Rock Steady Boxing program, designed to help battle symptoms of Parkinson’s, coming to Abbotsford in April

All child porn charges against Chilliwack realtor dismissed

Meissner’s computers contained ‘miniscule’ amount of content normally found on offenders’ devices

Ex-cop now preaches importance of rehabilitation at Abbotsford prison

John Glena once advocated throwing away keys for offenders; now he works to improve their lives

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

B.C., feds accused of ‘environmental racism’ over Site C, Mount Polley

Amnesty International Canada says governments failed to recognize threats to Indigenous peoples

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Most Read