Hundreds of homeless people across Britain are risking their lives each night by sleeping in large bins, according to a national waste management company.
Many refuse collectors now fear they might accidentally kill someone sleeping in a commercial wheeled bin as they attempt to stay warm for the night.
“It’s terrifying for our staff to find somebody lurking inside on their early morning rounds, and they constantly worry if they’ve ever accidentally killed somebody,” said Mark Hall of Business Waste.
“It’s not just the homeless,” he added. “There are also drunks sleeping off a session on their way home, and even drug addicts. There is a genuine danger that the person inside might be too soundly asleep when the refuse truck comes.”
Although the company did not provided a total figure, Hall is “certain” there at least several hundred people sleeping in bins on any given night. In 2016, commercial waste company Biffa said it had discovered 175 people over the course of a single year, only a small proportion of the number of rough sleepers who may be using the bins as makeshift dwellings.
A rise in rough sleeping and an increase in the number of dry waste bins set aside for recycled cardboard and plastic have been cited as reasons why the problem may be growing.