BC woman to pay $50 for putting paper in glass recycling bin

The British Columbia Civil Resolution Court upheld a $50 fine, finding it was more than likely that an occupant of a condominium unit put paper in a glass recycling bin.

The British Columbia Civil Resolution Court says a woman must pay a $50 fine for putting paper in the wrong recycling bin at her strata complex.

On April 8, 2021, Lower Mainland Strata sent a letter to Cynthia Balayewich, alleging that an occupant of the unit threw paper in the glass bin. Strata said its caretaker found the papers in the trash; a photo of the papers was emailed to stratum council a few days earlier on April 6.

Balayewich claimed Strata wrongly fined her, saying neither she nor anyone else in her unit put the papers in the trash. In response, Strata said the papers bore the names of Balayewich and his daughter.

Balayewich did not deny that the papers bore his name and that of his daughter. However, she said there was no evidence, such as eyewitness or camera footage, to prove that she or anyone in her unit put the papers in the trash.

In her April 19 ruling, the court’s vice president, Kate Campbell, said eyewitness evidence was not necessary to establish a violation of the strata settlement.

“Photos in evidence show that the caretaker found documents, such as invoices bearing the names of Ms Balayewich and EB, in the glass recycling bin,” Campbell said. “The photos also show that there was a large clearly written sign on the front of the bin that read ‘GLASS ONLY’.”

Campbell said it was more likely than not someone in the unit put the papers in the glass recycling bin.

Campbell said Balayewich wrote a May 2, 2021 email to Strata saying the bins are being kept unlocked and “owners, visitors and workers have access to move items from one bin to another.”

Balayewich further wrote that anyone can access the underground car park where the bins are located as many owners do not watch the door to the car park close, adding that the council has reported in the past that non-owners have been spotted in the garage and that an owner had their car broken into at some point.

“I find these claims that someone else put the papers with Ms Balayewich and EB’s names in the glass recycling bin to be speculative and unsubstantiated,” Campbell said. “There is no reasonable explanation as to why an owner, visitor or intruder would take time to do so. Therefore, I accept that the papers were placed by someone [Balayewich’s unit].”

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