Corporal Scotty Schumann with Surrey RCMP says it’s a story that cuts deep as a man’s body was found in a donation bin.
“It’s terrible to understand what they endured.”
The charity bin is in an empty lot on 104 Avenue and 150th Street near the Guildford Mall.
Schumann says a passer-by saw a man stuck inside the bin, and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
He says the death does not appear to be suspicious.
The man’s identity is still being determined but Schumann says the victim appears to be a ‘younger person.’
Last fall, a 45-year-old homeless person in Pitt Meadows also died after becoming stuck in a donation bin.
Bin belongs to Big Brothers
The bin the man was found dead in belongs to “Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver.”
Their executive director says the bin’s design is standard in the industry.
Valerie Lambert says the bin has a “lift-handle shoot” which makes it easy for people to deposit their donations but difficult to access from the outside without an external key.
Lambert is asked if the design of these bins needs to be re-considered in light of this tragedy…
“I think it’s too early to draw any conclusions, certainly if there are any safety factors we will absolutely be following them up I mean this is an utterly tragic event.”
Lambert says the location of bins is decided with the municipality or private land owners.
LISTEN: Vancouver street community weighs in on donation bin death
Donation bin diving more common than you think
Downtown East Side resident Shannon says digging in donation bins is standard practice for those living on the edge.
“Right now I could probably name six people, easily.”
She says she’s been hurt badly doing it herself – but takes the risk because she can’t afford used clothes.
“It’s not fair the prices they put on after they get the donation. Because they get the donation, which means for free. And then you go to the second hand store to buy the things, and they put like, you know, very high price tags because it’s a name brand.”
Many on the street say know people who’ve been trapped – sometimes for hours – often getting injured or suffering heat exhaustion.
With files from Simon Little
Photos via Shane MacKichan