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Licensing donation bins endorsed at committee level

A council committee has endorsed a city staff proposal to regulate donation bins and publication dispensing boxes by bringing them under the city’s licensing bylaw, which would require their owners to pay a licence fee to the city.
The staff recommendation was endorsed Tuesday by the city’s planning & building, engineering and environment committee. It now goes to council’s May 26 meeting for approval.
City staff have confirmed that illegal dumping is taking place around donation bins, which are being erected on private and public land without consent, says a new staff report.
Similarly, boxes dispensing various publications are being installed without anyone’s consent. The city has received complaints that these boxes aren’t being maintained and are attracting vandalism, it says.
The report seeks council’s approval to consult with the industries involved and with the public before bringing a licensing bylaw amendment back to council.
City residents have been complaining about donation boxes, it says. Aside from lack of consent from property owners for their placement, concerns include attraction of illegal dumping of household garbage and furniture, vandalism and lack of public notice identifying where donations end up.
Regulations attached to a city licence, the report says, could include providing proof of permission for placement, providing contact information and proof of insurance coverage, and doing routine maintenance and cleanup. The owners could also be required to display information on the donation bin to allow residents to make an informed choice before donating, it says.
Fines could be levied for non-compliance. And if removal and disposal of any bin or box is warranted for failing to adhere to regulations, the owners could be held accountable for the cost, the report says.

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