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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

Chilliwack RCMP heard gunfire en route to suspicous activity

Chilliwack man, 42, sent to hospital after shooting, RCMP have confirmed

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

Chilliwack council supporting protests against racism

City calls for participants to be cautious of distancing and to wear masks due to pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found the body while on foot patrol: Surrey RCMP

Most Read