Our View: Donation bins not benign

The donation bins that have popped up all across the Lower Mainland during the last few years have drawn a lot of complaints.

There have been issues with the fact that they are unsightly, that they attract garbage dumping, and that they don’t necessarily support local charities – or any charity at all.

But the most alarming thing about the bins is that people have died or become stuck in them.

This Tuesday, a man was found deceased and stuck in a donation bin in Surrey. In 2015, Anita Hauck died after becoming trapped in a bin in Pitt Meadows. There are other cases around North America of similar incidents.

More common, but less reported, is the fact that every few weeks or months, firefighters have to rescue someone trapped in a bin somewhere in the Lower Mainland.

The bins are unmonitored and are often in areas that have little foot traffic at night. Homeless people trying to extract an item of clothing or a blanket find themselves trapped and without any way to signal for help.

If the makers of the bins won’t adjust the designs to make them safer, local municipalities ought to lay out some more ground rules to prevent future tragedies. Considering that Langley City and other towns have already regulated the siting and placement, safety rules should be a natural follow-up for the bins.

We’d suggest that either the bins be re-designed for safety, or that they should be required to be locked shut overnight.

It’s often during the night that victims get stuck, and if no one sees them, tragedy can strike.

The donation bins were intended to help raise money for charity, not to become an ongoing hazard.

– M.C.



Just Posted

Court tosses Port Moody’s ticket for anti-SOGI rally

A group founded by a Langley woman was fined for a rally in Port Moody in 2018.

VIDEO: Dragon’s Den star headlines Unapologetically Her show in Langley

TV celebrity, author, and renowned entrepreneur Arlene Dickinson speaks truths about powerful women.

Aldergrove Kodiaks drown Whalers 6-3

Aldergrove Junior hockey team secure in PJHL playoffs spot next month

Langley women’s group fundraises by celebrating life of Scottish poet

The Soroptimists of the Langleys are hosting a Robbie Burns Night as a fundraiser for local seniors.

Langley classical musician nominated for Canadian literary award

Cellist Ian Hampton is in the top five finalists for the RBC Taylor Prize.

VIDEO: Langley grocer serves up breakfast to neighbouring school

Willoughby Elementary students and their families could enjoy a free breakfast on Thursday morning.

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Manure company causing ‘toxic’ stink at Abbotsford school seeks permit

Property across from King Traditional Elementary cannot operate manure facility without permit

Vancouver city council endorses free transit for youth

Mayor Kennedy Stewart will write a support letter to TransLink

Most Read