The City of Delta has shifted its stance away from a full-out ban on clothing donation bins.
On Jan. 28, council adopted an amendment to its previous order to remove all donation bins from the city regardless of location or design. Instead, bins that have an opening too small for people to climb through will be allowed, as will be ones that are locked away from the public or have been certified safe by an accredited and Delta-approved organization.
“Despite assurances of the safety of certain designs by donation bin owners and a manufacturer, staff do not believe that Delta should be the arbiter of which bins are safe and which bins pose a hazard to the public,” reads a memo by Delta city manager Sean McGill.
McGill clarified to council that donation bin companies have to meet only one of the criteria to be permitted to operate in the city.
“We do have something that is called a ‘book bin opening,’ they’re the size of a large book,” McGill said.
“I am comfortable saying there’s no chance of someone going inside there and getting trapped. It’s with the other openings of different sizes and shapes, and different mechanisms for allowing people to get in, that we’re not comfortable certifying what’s safe and what’s not safe.”
The initial ban came after two bin-related deaths in Canada within days of one another. One man died after trying to climb into a bin in West Vancouver on Dec. 30 and, just over a week later, a woman in Toronto died in much the same way on Jan. 8.
Owners of donation bins across Delta had until Jan. 29 to remove them or be charged by the city for their removal.