Why charity bins may be pulled from the streets

Samuel Hussey
News Reporter

They’re placed on blocks all around the country and while there’s every chance you’d never give them a second look, there are now calls for donation bins to be pulled from the streets following a spate of bizarre deaths overseas.

In the past two weeks, a man in West Vancouver and woman in Toronto were both been found dead in charity bins.

Witnesses heard the woman calling for help shortly before 2am on Tuesday (local time). Toronto emergency crews arrived to find half her body sticking out of the box. She had no vitals and was pronounced dead at the scene.

In 2015, a Sydney man, believed to have been foraging for clothes, was found dead with his legs sticking out of a donation bin in the southern suburb of Rosebery. 

The body of a man is removed from a charity clothing bin in Rosebery, in Sydney, in November 2015. Images: AAP

Since then, eight Canadians have suffocated to death after becoming trapped in the donation bins, with charity workers now advocating for the “death traps” to be removed or immediately fixed.

“It’s unthinkable, and it’s time to deal with this problem,” Jeremy Hunka of Union Gospel Mission in Vancouver told The Canadian Press this week.

“Too many of our guests who would otherwise have a shot at turning their lives around are dying a horrible death inside or hanging out of a bin.”

“People have died, and they have inadvertently become death traps… it boggles my mind that they’re still in operation.”

One Canadian company is now removing all 146 of their donation bins. Image: Getty (file image)

The victims are usually attempting to retrieve items from the bins, however the metal contraptions are designed to prevent theft.

In wake of the recent deaths, non-profit organisation Inclusion BC said it will pull all 146 of their donation bins from the streets – including the West Vancouver bin where the 34-year-old man was found trapped and unresponsive and subsequently died at the scene.

Yahoo7 News has contacted Australian charities including Vinnies, Anglicare and The Smith Family to enquire about their own donation bins and whether they have any safety measures in place to stop people breaking in and ultimately becoming trapped.