Bins seemingly harmless to charitable donations have become what homeless advocates call "deadly traps" after multiple incidents of people dead after being stuck in garbage cans.
More recently, a 35-year-old Canadian woman has been found dead in a garbage collection bin in Toronto on Tuesday morning. Police opened the safe to try to save the woman, but she was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Canadian press. Toronto Mayor John Tory, m said the city studies safety and the design of bins.
His death marks the eighth incident in Canada since 2015.
Although rare, similar incidents occur in the United States. In November, a 30-year-old woman was found dead in a donation basket in Petaluma, California. A little over two years ago, a 40-year-old woman dead in a donation bin in Alameda, California, just 50 miles away. It was believed that both women were homeless.
People often find themselves trapped in bins after trying to retrieve items inside or trying to shelter in bad weather.
Jeremy Hunka, spokesperson for the Canadian charity Union Gospel Mission, told According to the Canadian Press, bins "have inadvertently become deadly traps". He said, "It's beyond me to think they're still working."
Charities rely on bins to turn easy-to-donate items into cash, often selling items to thrift stores. Most bins work like a courier or a safe: an opening door prevents objects from entering the bin until the slot is closed. Although this protects the contents of the bin, this makes it particularly dangerous for anyone trying to enter it.
"There is a small opening, and when you start to enter, it gets smaller and smaller," said Ray Taheri, a senior instructor in mechanical engineering at the University of British Columbia in Okanagan, who has formed a safer trash working group. Once a person is stuck in the opening of the trash, "the inside is very dark and confined, and all your weight is on your chest".
After the series of deaths, charities in Canada began to rethink the design of the bins.
Diabetes Canada ad they are modernizing their bins to make them less dangerous for those trying to penetrate the interior.
"Approximately 4,000 donated diabetic clothing baskets across Canada are being redeveloped or modified to prevent the injury or death of those who abuse or attempt to access their garment bins." "Said the charity in a statement.
Non-profit inclusion BC m said he will remove the 146 ferries from Vancouver after the discovery of a dead man in one of their trays December 30, 2018. The bins will be stored until security changes are made.
Taheri says it's probably impossible to get rid of the thousands of charity bins across Vancouver alone, given the costs and the space required. But recent deaths have given rise to a sense of urgency to find a solution.
"These donation bins could be safer," said Taheri. "It's something happening at home, a community we care about. Something must be done. "