Donation bin-related deaths prompt manufacturer to stop production

A Canadian woman has died after she was found unconscious and trapped inside a clothing donation bin in Toronto.

Police said the woman did not have any vital signs when firefighters pulled her from the bin behind a building near Bloor Street and Dovercourt Road.

Sidhu said fire services cut through the box in order to extract her, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

One woman who lives in the area told CP24 she regularly sees people going through the donation bins at night.

There was another clothing bin related fatality on Tuesday in Toronto, a little over a week after a Vancouver man died after getting stuck in a West Vancouver bin.

"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. "They're set up in a way to make it hard to have access to the box, to the inside of the box, but obviously not safe enough".

"Shut them all down", she said.

'Shut them all down, ' Loretta Sundstrom, whose daughter after getting stuck in a bin, told CBC last week.

The spate of deaths have lead to advocates in Canada labelling the bins "death traps".


The incident has sparked a city-wide call for the bins to be removed, and their design to be changed.

Many of the Canadian bins killing people have retained the same design for decades without incident.

A man digs through a donation bin in Vancouver. The company has been advising charities to remove those bars until safer designs can be implemented. Sidhu said such deaths are especially horrific.

In total, five deaths have been reported in British Columbia over the last four years. "That would be painful, and it would not be quick".

Patricia O'Connell, executive director at Sistering, a west-end charity-run women's shelter not far from where the woman was found dead, confirmed the woman, named Chrystal, had stayed there in the past.

When asked if he was OK, the man in the bin said: "Yes, I'm fine".

A Global News camera operator spotted someone climbing into a donation bin on Kensington Avenue just before 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The non-profit had been working with UBC mechanical engineering students and its Canadian manufacturer to make the bins safer.

For instance, increasing welfare cheques during the winter months to help people buy warm clothes would prevent them from reaching into donation bins out of desperation, she said.

  • Tracy Klein