A man tries to retrieve items from a clothing donation bin in Vancouver in December. (Canadian Press/files)

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Pitt Meadows council has banned clothing donations bins.

Pitt Meadows council has banned clothing donations bins, which have been responsible for eight deaths across Canada in the last three years.

Anita Hauck was one of them. She was found unresponsive, upside down in a bin at Meadowtown Centre in Pitt Meadows on Sept. 28, 2015.

Pitt Meadows is now the fourth city in B.C. to ban the bins, joining three other B.C. cities that have banned clothing donations bins after a man’s body was found in one on New Year’s Eve in a West Vancouver park.

Pitt Meadows is removing all such bins within city limits until it is determined they are no longer a threat to public safety.

University of B.C. engineering students are currently working on designs that would prevent people from getting into the bins.

Maple Ridge does not yet have a ban on the bins, and staff are consulting with local groups that use them.

Removing or locking the bins is the right thing to do. No one should die for just trying to stay dry and warm. No one should be told to just freeze, but we’ll see what a B.C. Supreme Court judge decides as the City of Maple Ridge seeks authority to enforce safety orders at Anita Place Tent City, named after Hauck and where there have been six fires in the 18 months since its inception.

Tent city residents claim they are just trying to stay warm in winter.

But there must be a better way, other than to provide social housing, than diving into clothing donation bins.

The recycling depot on Hornby Island takes donations and gives clothes away to those in need for free. Would a local charity be willing to take on such a task?

That way, no one profits from previously worn items. Isn’t the point of donating them to help those in need?

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

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