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Burnaby strata, condo owner battle over refundable beverage containers

The province's Civil Resolution Tribunal has ruled a Brentwood strata has the right to lock up its empties and keep residents from returning them for refunds.
A Brentwood strata's rules threaten police action against people who take empties from its garbage room.

A North Burnaby strata has prevailed in a fight over who's allowed access to the building’s discarded beverage containers.

Jason Reddy co-owns a Brentwood condo in the Escala at 1788 Gilmore Ave., according to a Sept. 29 ruling by the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

Reddy took the building’s strata council to the tribunal over a $200 towing bill, arguing the strata had improperly towed his vehicle from a visitor’s parking spot.

He also appealed to the tribunal for an order compelling the strata not to lock up its bins for discarded returnable beverage containers.

Reddy argued he is entitled to collect empties thrown into the recycling bins in the strata’s common property garbage room, but the strata said it has enacted a rule to make returnable beverage containers the strata’s property.

“Once you place a refundable beverage container in any such designated bin … it becomes the property of the strata and cannot be removed without the written consent from the strata council," the rule states.  "Any unauthorized removal of a refundable beverage container will be considered theft and reported to the RCMP.”

The strata told the tribunal a designated strata owner empties the bins based on an agreement with the strata, and partial proceeds from the refunds are donated to charity, but tribunal vice chair J. Garth Cambrey noted a copy of the agreement had not been provided for evidence.

Cambrey ultimately dismissed Reddy’s dispute, ruling the strata – under the Strata Property Act – has the discretion to make rules “governing the use, safety and condition of the common property and common assets.”

The CRT is an online, quasi-judicial tribunal that hears strata property disputes of any amount and small claims disputes of $5,000 and less.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor

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