Clothing bins removed from street, mall

Photo of man reaching to used clothing collection box draws reaction

A person was photographed diving into one of the same clothing donation bins, and in the same manner, that led to the recent death of a homeless woman.

Last Friday, Laurie McLaren posted the photo on the Facebook page Protecting Maple Ridge, with the comment: “My husband just took this picture on Brown Ave. Lesson not learned, apparently.”

The photo drew 59 comments, and was described by one respondent as “eerily similar” to the scene when staff at the Real Canadian Superstore in Pitt Meadows found the woman on Sept. 27.

“The mayor needs to see this. A woman died in one of those bins a week ago. I don’t want to see anyone die, this is terrible,” said Mike Park.

The bin on Brown Avenue has since been removed, and all clothing donation bins at Real Canadian Superstore were taken away at the request of management.

The company that owns the bin that the homeless woman became stuck in, Burnaby-based Green Inspiration B.C., has not returned calls.

But in an interview following the death, administrative manager Pavel Lalev said although it is difficult to get inside the bins, the company was working on a way to prevent people from doing so.

“I cannot fathom how someone could get in it,” said Lalev.

The company collects unwanted clothing, which is sold and delivered to developing countries, while unwanted material is recycled.

The B.C. Coroner’s Service is investigating the death of Anita Hauck and will produce a public report of its findings.

Hauck, 45, was an advocate and spokesperson for homeless people in Maple Ridge.