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The Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIMW) will call on bin collection companies across the UK to help it tackle the problem of homeless people dying in bins where they have taken shelter while rough sleeping.
Launching a new partnership with waste and recycling company Biffa and Streetlink, a helpline for the public to report rough sleepers to local services, the CIWM said it would be gathering data to provide a more accurate assessment of the problem.
It is understood that all bin collection companies will be asked to fill in a questionnaire, which will ask them to detail so called ‘near misses’ and give details of experiences of finding rough sleepers in the bins they have collected. It is anticipated that an awareness campaign for rough sleepers will be developed, based on the research.
CIWM president John Skidmore said: "There is clearly an issue with rough sleepers in the UK, and we are particularly concerned by those that end up sleeping in waste bins.
"We’re seeking to support the sector in research that will assess and understand the problem so we can target interventions that will be able to make a real difference. Last month the Pavement, which has campaigned on the issue for many years, reported on the result of the fatal inquest of one man who died in a bin found in a recycling plant in Tipton, while in Dublin, another man was killed while sleeping in an industrial bin.
A further two deaths are known of in the UK as well as two in Ireland. Biffa said it was committed to raising awareness on the issue, and will continue to train staff to look for people sheltering in bins, as well as putting warning stickers on them urging people to keep out.