The City has contracted the services of a specialized waste removal company to perform targeted sweeps across the Downtown. The Engineering department has also added resources to their team to provide additional services above and beyond the biohazardous sweeps. These services remove drug and human waste from streets, sidewalks, and planters. For businesses adjacent to public property, the crew may also be able to check alcoves and doorways. Please email to see if your business is on the route; property owners will need to sign a liability waiver to participate.
In addition, City Bylaw Officers, now called Livability Coordinators, are proactively conducting daily patrols across the City to offer services to unsheltered and street entrenched people, identify areas that require garbage removal, and connect with businesses for education purposes.
The City has installed a temporary 24-hour staffed toilet at the east end of Front Street, in the parking lot of the former Army and Navy. Funding for the facility came from a combination of grants and existing budgets, with the installation and staffing made possible through the cooperation of Purpose Society. The facility is open to everyone. Media Release - January 25 2023
Additional City-provided public washrooms are available during operating hours at many locations throughout the City, and 24-hours at the police station. Washrooms located in parks are managed a bit differently than washrooms in facilities as some washrooms in parks are seasonal. For Parks-managed washrooms, click here. For information about washrooms in general, click here.
A permanent 24-hour public washroom is planned for the Downtown. The design team and supplier have both being engaged. An in-depth analysis of the most appropriate location for the washroom is currently ongoing. It is anticipated that the construction for the washroom will commence before the end of 2023.
Discussions are also ongoing with BC Housing regarding the feasibility of installing a sanitation trailer along Front Street, exact location still to be determined. The sanitation trailer would be supported by attendant services. More information will be provided on this potential initiative in due course.
More broadly speaking, the City has engaged the services of a Downtown Livability Strategy Project Manager who’s responsibilities include developing a public toilet and biohazardous waste management work plan. The focus of the plan is to specifically address the issue of biohazardous waste on public property in a more coordinated and cost-effective way. Key objectives include:
- To ensure that everyone – including the unsheltered, seniors, families and people with disabilities – has access to clean, accessible and safe public toilets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;
- To ensure that City streets and other civic property are free of human waste and that waste is cleaned up and disposed of in a safe and healthy manner; and
- To ensure that City staff have the Standard Operating Procedures and training needed to clean up and dispose of human waste appropriately.