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Donation bins up for discussion at city hall 5 months after woman’s death

Momin Qureshi and News Staff | posted Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Five months after a woman died when she got trapped inside a large clothing donation bin, the General Government and Licensing Committee is discussing some major changes.

Among the proposed changes is putting the onus on the company whose bin it is to prove the donation bins are safe.

Crystal Papineau, 35, was found dead in January after climbing through the slot of a donation bin in the Bloor Street and Dovercourt Road area during a frigid winter night.

“Crystal was a young lady that died in a clothing drop box trying to get clothing out of the box, I understand, to help people in her community that were concerned and needed clothing,” committee Chair Coun. Paul Ainslie said.

Papineau was the eighth death related to people getting stuck inside donation bins in Canada since 2015 — five of these deaths were in British Columbia.

Ainslie said her death was a large part of the reason the discussion over donation bins was sped up.

Some of the other concerns raised is that it is often unclear if the bin for a charity or a private company.

Coun. Francis Nunziata says she’s been waiting for a decade for this issue to be brought forward so it can be reviewed.

“It’s really an eyesore in some parts of the community and I think that the local councillor should have the say on where these boxes go and how many boxes you want in a certain community – even if they’re legal or not.”

“They shouldn’t be just put everywhere.”

Some of the proposed change include making the companies behind the bins prove the donations are going to charity, increasing fines and increasing the licensing fees.

The committee passed a motion to change some of the rules. That motion still has to be approved by council when it meets again next month.

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