You've bin warned
September 26th 2009
Over the winter months, an increasing number of readers are climbing into waste containers in order to keep warm, particularly outside supermarkets and pubs.
The UK's leading industrial and residential waste firm, Biffa, are warning that there have been frequent near-misses and one fatality as a result of this seemingly harmless, if rather unusual way to stay out of the cold.
A rough sleeper in Bristol recently suffered broken limbs after being tipped into a waste lorry, the equivalent of being hit by a car at 30mph, and another man in the West Midlands was killed during a similar incident.
Biffa are encouraging shopkeepers, restaurant owners, warehouse and factory managers to check their containers for those seeking shelter, lock bins when they are not in use and report anything to their waste contractor so they can be extra careful.
Ray Hipkin, the company's Health and Safety Manager, told The Pavement, "although waste containers may seem like a warm place to sleep, particularly in the winter months, homeless people are putting their lives at risk by sleeping in them."
Last winter, Biffa recorded nearly 50 incidents where drivers found people just in time, and spoke to us in order to make people more aware of the potential risk.
Although, Spring is officially here, Biffa's warning should be heeded by readers still considering this former of shelter.