Putting safety first, Richmond has ordered the removal or locking of unsafe donation bins across the city.
At least until safety issues can be addressed.
The decision follows the recent fatalities related to donation bins in West Vancouver and Toronto.
Issued today (Jan. 9), the city order requires bin operators to remove the bins within 24 hours. If operators are unable to remove the bins by the deadline, the bins are to be locked or made safe until they can be removed at the earliest opportunity.
Placing and maintaining donation bins on public property is limited to registered charities and administered through a city bylaw.
The bylaw sets standards for size and maintenance of the donation bins, with the city authorized to have bins removed for safety or other reasons.
The bins to be removed have a donation slot configuration considered unsafe. This is because of the possibility of people trying to access the interior of the bin and becoming trapped. The city has advised organizations that this donation slot configuration will not be allowed in the future, and any future permit applications will require a configuration that addresses this safety concern.
Donation bins determined to have a safe configuration will still be permitted. This includes bins which have a small donation slot aperture and/or no moving parts. Some of the existing 24 bins on public property already meet this criteria and will not need to be removed. Permits for new bins that meet these criteria will also be considered.