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Death of homeless man in bin death 'unnatural'

An inquest into the death of a man who had been sleeping in a recycling bin has concluded with a jury’s verdict of unnatural death.

The Swindon Advertiser reported that the exact cause of death of Matthew Symonds, 34, would remain a mystery, with the jury unable to pinpoint formally where, when and why he died.

Symonds’ remains were found on 1 August 2014 at Biffa’s plant in Avonmouth.

A spokesperson from Biffa called it a “tragic incident” and said the company’s thoughts and sympathies were with his family.

“We have long been working hard to address the societal issue of people seeking shelter in waste containers and the potentially fatal consequences. We have in place a number of company-wide initiatives, which we are constantly reviewing in an effort to minimise the risk of incidents like this.”

The company noted that its collection teams already carry out checks on waste containers and spotted 93 rough sleepers during 2014.

In May, the company announced that it would be fitting collection vehicles with CCTV cameras to prevent such incidents.

Information can be passed to homeless charities so they can attempt to secure accommodation for people.

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