RCMP and BC Coroners Service investigate after a man was found dead in this Surrey donation bin in 2016, near 150th Street and 104th Avenue. (Now-Leader file photo)

Surrey reviewing clothing bin safety in wake of deaths

School district confirms all donation bins were removed from its properties, citing safety concerns

The City of Surrey is reviewing the safety of clothing donation bins as well as an outright ban following two recent deaths in West Vancouver and Toronto.

On Dec. 30, a man died in West Vancouver after he tried to climb into a donation bin and got stuck. Then on Jan. 8, a woman in Toronto died in much the same way, prompting a nation-wide conversation on the safety of the apparatus.

In a similar incident, a man was found dead in a Surrey donation bin in 2016, near Guildford Town Centre, close to the intersection of 150th Street and 104th Avenue.

“In light of recent incidents involving these bins,” said Surrey Councillor Brenda Locke, “I would like to request my fellow council members consider a resolution asking staff to precisely determine the inventory of the bins located throughout the city, how they are regulated, what safety precautions may be in place or may be required to further prevent incidences, determine if certain types of bins should simply be banned and subsequently to provide a report back to council on this matter with their recommendations.”

Surrey council passed the motion during a Jan. 14 meeting, and staff will report back at a later date.

See also: Man found dead in donation bin near Surrey’s Guildford Town Centre

Surrey Councillor Jack Hundial expressed concern for the organizations that would be financially impacted by any changes.

“I would like to propose that we include them in the discussions as we move forward,” said Hundial.

Mayor Doug McCallum said he received an email on Jan. 14 from “one particular agency that’s involved in most of the bins.”

“I’ve sent a copy to all of council,” McCallum added. “Be sure you read it because they’re doing some actions very quickly to try to solve the problem.”

Meantime, Surrey Schools spokesman Doug Strachan told the Now-Leader on Jan. 15 that the district has removed all 42 clothing bins from school properties “as a result of safety concerns highlighted by the recent death.”

Also on Jan. 14, Delta Council ordered the removal of donation bins in that city, after determining the bins create “unsafe conditions” and pose “significant risks to human health and safety.”

This came the week after the Delta school district decided to decommission all bins located on school grounds.

See also: Third B.C. city bans clothing donation bins after recent deaths

Other B.C. cities have enacted outright bans after the deaths, including Richmond, West Vancouver and Burnaby. Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are also considering banning the bins, and Inclusion BC has pulled all 146 bins it has in the province.

According to a poll released this week by Research Co., 70 per cent of B.C. residents want to ban the bins. The poll asked 800 people if they would approve banning the bins and taking their clothing and other items directly to the charity instead.

Read more: UBC prof hopes students’ idea to retrofit clothing bins will prevent deaths

According to the survey, women were slightly more likely than men to support nixing the bins, and those living on Vancouver Island and in northern B.C. were slightly less in favour.

Eight people have died involving donation bins in Canada since 2015, and a major Canadian manufacturer has announced it would stop making them until they sorted out the safety concerns.

With files from Black Press

Just Posted

City Dream Centres hands out 1,000 backpacks at back to school event in Surrey

This is the fifth year the charity is hosting the event in the city

Securing Olympic spot the latest test for Canadian softball squad at Surrey tournament

Softball hasn’t been included in the Games since 2008 when Canada finished fourth in Beijing

UPDATE: Two men injured in north Surrey shooting

Police say the incident was targeted, may be linked to drug activity

White Rock RCMP seeking information about Aug. 16 assault

Man in 60s was injured around same time Paul Prestbakmo was stabbed to death

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Border crossings across Lower Mainland seeing lengthy delays

Sumas, Peace Arch and Surrey-Blaine border crossings seeing long wait times

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Most Read