A video posted on YouTube Friday morning shows a person inside a closed bottle deposit box in downtown Victoria, tossing cans out of the bin.
Money from the empties found in the bin, located at 759 Yates St., go towards supporting Our Place’s services.
In January, a 34-year-old man was found dead inside a clothing donation bin on the Lower Mainland and a 35-year-old Toronto woman died after becoming trapped in a clothing donation bin, which looks similar to the empties’ bin in the video.
The user who posted the video points out that empty can deposits, which doubled for all non-alcoholic beverage containers starting on Nov. 1, may be to blame for the dangerous move.
Grant McKenzie, communications manager with Our Place, says he doesn’t believe that’s the case at all.
“For a lot of people collecting cans, it’s their income and the doubling of the return will hopefully help them more,” he says. “But it would make no difference when people are this desperate to pay their rent or to get food – it doesn’t really matter.”
The Diverters is a program run by Our Place that helps people gain employment by separating recycling for local businesses that allows them to keep any returnables they find plus an hourly wage. It’s one way the organization is trying to make things a bit safer for those living on Victoria’s streets.
“A lot of people we deal with don’t like any rules or rigidity and unfortunately they can put themselves at risk for a few dollars,” says McKenzie.
The donation bin has two ways of getting inside, according to a Bottle Depot spokesperson, through the shoot where the bottles go in and a door on the other side that is kept locked shut.
It is unclear how the person got inside the bin.