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

55-year-old man taken to hospital after fire at Surrey RV park

Firefighters find man suffering from smoke inhalation, burns to face and hands: battalion chief

OUR VIEW: Let’s find Surrey pellet-gun punks

Those who do have information – if they are also possessed of a conscience – must contact police

Coldest Night an event for warm hearts

Sources’ White Rock event one of 130 walkathons across Canada on Feb. 23

VIDEO: A new Hive climbing/fitness facility coming to Surrey in 20,000-sq.-ft. space

‘Bouldering’ and other activities planned at site near Pattullo Bridge

MK Delta Lands development another step closer to breaking ground

Delta needs Metro Vancouver’s okay before swapping hundreds of acres and adding it to Burns Bog

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read