Rough Sleepers ‘Risking Lives’ By Sheltering In Bins

An increasing number of people are risking their lives by sleeping rough in bins, driven by significant rises in the homeless population in the UK.

9, a:1:{i:0;s:8:”defaults”;}, new belt scrapers, Rough Sleepers ‘Risking Lives’ By Sheltering In Bins, An increasing number of people are risking their lives by sleeping rough in bins, driven by significant rises in the homeless population in the UK., An increasing number of people are risking their lives by sleeping rough in bins, driven by significant rises in the homeless population in the UK.

This is according to new research from waste management company Biffa, in collaboration with the Open University and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, revealing that in the last year, 35 per cent of waste companies have found people sleeping in bins, compared to 21 per cent in 2014.

In the last five years, there have been seven known fatalities as a result of people sleeping in bins. The problem is also a year-round issue and isn’t seen exclusively in winter.

And despite industry guidelines, just 40 per cent of commercial bins currently in use have been fitted with working locks – the same as it was in 2014.

As such, the organisations involved are now calling for a collaborative approach among homeless charities, waste producers, waste management companies and members of the general public in order to tackle the issue.

Several key recommendations have been made to help save lives and prevent the risk of serious injury.

These include providing training and written policies for employees at waste management companies, making sure bins are both secure and inaccessible, putting inclusive danger stickers on bins that can be read in numerous languages and suited to different reading abilities, and contacting charities when a homeless person is found near a bin.

It was also recommended that processes be put in place at waste management firms to report when people are discovered.

“Urgent action is required now to raise awareness of the dangers of seeking shelter in bins. This new research highlights the need not only for the waste industry to take more responsibility for its own practices, but crucially for it to work with its customers to help tackle the issue.

“We are committed to leading this approach to promote policies and procedures for widespread adoption to prevent further tragedies,” chief executive of Biffa Michael Topham said.

Boris Johnson has just today (February 27th) set out new measures to bring an end to rough sleeping, confirming an additional £236 million to help get people off the streets.

An independent adviser has also been appointed to carry out an urgent review into the causes of rough sleeping. The funding will be put towards offering Housing First-style ‘move on’ accommodation for up to 6,000 people and those who are most at risk of sleeping rough.

Some £437 has already been committed by the government to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in 2020/21, including more than £112 million that was provided last year to provide services for rough sleepers through the Rough Sleeping Initiative.

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