The District of Squamish is taking action to ensure the safety of donation bins in town in the wake of the death of a 34-year-old Vancouver man who had apparently become stuck in a bin in the Ambleside area of West Vancouver.
After earlier in the week saying they were considering short-term options until a long-term fix could be found, the District of Squamish announced Friday on its Facebook page that "donation bins located on District property will be removed as of Friday, Jan. 11."
"Charities with donation bins located on private property are being urged to remove them immediately."
The Dec. 30 West Van death was the fifth since 2015 where a person has died stuck in a donation bin, the BC Coroners Service told the North Shore News, The Chief's sister paper.
While the two donation bins exist on District of Squamish property, there are several others located on private properties, which didn't require District approval for placement, according to Mayor Karen Elliott.
The bin the Vancouver man died in belonged to Inclusion BC, a non-profit that supports people with intellectual disabilities. The charity doesn't have any bins located in the Sea to Sky, a spokesperson told The Chief.
The District reached out to the Developmental Disabilities Association (DDA) which owns the two bins on District property and was informed a task force has been formed to address bin safety.
A UBC Okanagan engineering professor, Ray Taheri, has announced he plans to assign his upcoming fourth-year students to come up with a working prototype based on the concepts his first-year students produced in 2018.
Taheri was originally approached by Inclusion BC last year to work with the bin manufacturer to create a design that would prevent people from entering them, the charity said.
"There are alternative ways to support the charities and donate items – including drop-off at local organizations or pickups by the charities that own the bins," Elliott told The Chief in an email.
Squamish residents may also call the Developmental Disabilities Association to schedule a donation pickup at 604-273-9778 or complete an online pickup form on the charity's website.
~With files from the North Shore News