Burnaby asks companies to remove clothing donation bins

A 35-year-old woman has died after being pinned inside a clothing donation box in Toronto on Tuesday morning.

Emergency crews rushed to the scene in Toronto, Canada, on Tuesday, where rescuers cut the metal supports on the bin's hatch to free the woman.

"Most of the deaths, I believe, are caused not because the person succeeded to get inside, but that he or she got kind of suspended or stuck between the inside and outside", he said.

Why the woman had tried to get in the bin is unknown.

In B.C., the municipality of West Vancouver and the non-profit organization Inclusion BC have planned to shut down donation bins while they seek a safer alternative.

The death of a 34-year-old man found lodged in a clothing donation box in West Vancouver on December 30 has resulted in the removal of donation boxes across British Columbia.

In the wake of the recent bin deaths, however, the company has suspended manufacturing until it can conceive of a safer design.

Last November, a 32-year-old man was discovered dead inside a donation box in Cambridge, Ont., and a man in his 20s died in a similar container in Calgary in July 2017.

A man digs through a donation bin in Vancouver.

But not all donation-bin manufacturers have taken this step.

The BC Coroners Service is investigating three donation-bin related deaths.

Toronto Police Const. Genifferjit Sidhu said that deaths such as these can be horrific.

"There could be a million things that pose risks to people who are homeless, who are really struggling", she said. "That would be painful, and it would not be quick".

Children's Wish clothing donation bin on a street in Toronto.

The safety of the boxes, which are created to make it hard for people to access the inside.

"To advised them of the city's concern about the safety of the bins and asked them to undertake a review and take appropriate measures, including removing the bins from private property, as required", he explains. Diabetes Canada announced the move last week and said 240 bins have already been adapted in Ontario alone.

In addition to developing prototypes in-house, he said the company has teamed up with a professor at the University of British Columbia who has tasked fourth-year engineering students with developing designs for boxes that are both safe and theft-proof.

Vanessa Coleman

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