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

Shelter access moving to the side of the building in Chilliwack on the heels of complaints

Renos to The Portal will see new bunk beds, indoor washrooms and a review of security and cleaniness

Drivers warn of slippery conditions on the Coquihalla

Snow is falling at the Summit of the Coquihalla

Rotarians digging in for new tree planting project

Trees will be a way to honour loved ones through Chilliwack

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

UFV bans cash after accepting 17 payments over $10k last year

Ban on cash payments follows report warning of potential money laundering through universities

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Man found dead inside Richmond business, IHIT investigating

Police believe the incident was not random

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Most Read