We were very saddened to hear of the death of a man related to a clothing donation bin that CLS operates as part of the Inclusion BC Clothes Drop program. We and our partner agencies are removing all the clothing bins and will keep them in storage until further notice. Modified or replacement bins will not be deployed by CLS until we have an independent third party engineering company confirm that the bins are safe for individuals donating clothing, individuals that may attempt to access the bin or the contents of the bin, and the individuals that collect the donated items. Below is a statement from Inclusion BC on behalf of the participating members.

Ross Chilton, M.A.

Chief Executive Officer

Inclusion BC, community partners to pull donation bins pending safety review

New Westminster, January 3, 2019 — Inclusion BC was deeply saddened to learn of the death of a man in one of our clothing donation bins in West Vancouver. Our deepest condolences go out to all who have been touched by this tragic event.

Safety is a top priority for Inclusion BC and our member agencies that participate in the ClothesDrop recycling program.

In 2018, we asked the University of BC’s Mechanical Engineering Capstone Project Course to work with our Canadian bin manufacturer to design a new bin that would address safety issues and ensure a public safety standard. Student-designed safety modifications are now in the prototype phase to address how to prevent people from entering into the bins and other related safety issues.

At an emergency meeting on January 3, 2019, Inclusion BC and our member agencies decided to remove 146 bins currently placed in Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast, Interior BC and Central and North Vancouver Island. Removal has already started and should be completed by early next week. All bins will be moved to secure storage until safety modifications can be made to ensure public safety.

We will continue to work with our bin manufacturer, municipal authorities, design experts and community partners to formalize and promote the adoption of industry-wide safety standards to keep our communities safe. These are just initial steps towards ensuring public safety while we continue working with our partners, communities and other charities that rely on this fundraising model to find satisfactory solution to broader and complex issues.

We will continue to accept clothing donations at indoor and monitored collection sites pending resolution of the bin safety issues.