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Charities in talks to avoid rough sleepers dying in bins

Ways of preventing the deaths of rough sleepers in waste bins are being considered by Biffa and homelessness charities.

The charity Broadway and advice line Streetlink, operated by charity Homeless Link, are discussing with Biffa how checks could be made before bins are cleared.

In September 2012, a 50-year-old homeless man sleeping in a bin was killed when it was emptied.

A spokesperson from Homeless Link said: “We have heard reports about rough sleepers who, in an attempt to find shelter, sleep in bins. This is obviously dangerous and so we are exploring with Biffa the extent of the issue and what can be done about it.”

Discussions are at an early stage. Both parties aim to highlight the dangers of those at risk and to educate waste management customers on who they can call for help if they are concerned about a rough sleeper.

A Biffa spokesperson said the company was “currently working with Homeless Link to provide a programme of activity, but no details are available”.

A campaign may be launched during the RWM exhibition, according to Biffa.

In 2011 MRW reported that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was in talks with private sector bodies about funding for a series of adverts to warn homeless people of the dangers of sleeping in bins.

The Health and Safety Executive and the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum, released guidance on how to reduce the risk of death of people sleeping in bins in 2010.

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