The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Top Cats Discuss Bin Sleeping Issues

17 November 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

UK waste management companies have announced a joint initiative to tackle the potentially deadly issue of people using refuse containers for shelter this winter.

More than 10 people have died in this country during the last five years after containers in which they’d sought shelter overnight were emptied into waste trucks. Now the UK waste industry, led by Biffa, Veolia and B&M Waste Services has committed to work together in order to help save lives through increased education and co-operation.

Representatives from the three waste management companies met in Birmingham with representatives from the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, the Environmental Services Association and the Health and Safety Executive for the inaugural meeting of this dedicated Industry Steering Group.

They were joined by two charities involved with the homeless, Framework and Homeless Link, to consider ways to tackle the issue and protect vulnerable people. The meeting heard that the problem was not restricted to the homeless either, although the homeless crisis was putting more at risk. There were also reports of students and those making their way home under the influence of drink or drugs seeking shelter and putting themselves in danger.


B&M refuse not refuge campaign

For the first time, management companies will pool resources and share information. Work will also take place to expand the group to include more members and work with local authorities too.

The joint initiative follows on from Biffa’s own work with charity Homeless Link to encourage members of the public to alert local authorities, which featured on the BBC earlier this year. Tim Standring, Biffa’s divisional health, safety, environment and quality coach said: “Even though we’ve increased training and awareness over the last two years and discovered more people in our bins, tragically fatalities are still occurring across our industry. But there is a wider responsibility beyond simply the waste companies – it needs a holistic approach from all sectors and stakeholders including our customers, local authorities and the general public.”

Veolia’s quality and health and safety projects manager Paul Thornber said: “Whilst the waste and resource industry is trying hard to reduce and eventually eliminate these tragic events, support from other stakeholders in the Duty of Care chain is required and would be welcomed. This social problem is on the rise and it is up to us all to support one another in playing a part in attempting to find a lasting solution.”

And Ann McMurrie, B&M Waste Services’ environment, quality, health & safety and compliance manager added: “Coming together as an industry seems the sensible way forward to raise awareness of the terrible dangers of sleeping in waste containers. We first addressed this issue with our ‘Refuse not Refuge’ campaign which launched in 2013. We now urge other parties such as local authorities and customers to spread this message, and further reduce fatalities in the future.”

The People in Bins Steering Group has committed to meeting in the New Year to agree the details of the initiatives and seek the wider involvement of all sectors of the UK waste industry.

Picture: See full campaign poster below

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 17 November 2016


Related Articles

Keeping in the Loop

BPI Recycled Products is working with Oadby and Wigston Borough Council on a closed loop recycling scheme. The operation is turning the Leicestershire council’s...

 Read Full Article
We're You Bin Sleeping

National waste management services provider Biffa will install CCTV in its waste collection vehicles to help prevent loss of life of those sleeping in wheelie...

 Read Full Article
New Rules for Lorries as Waste Contractor is Sued

All trucks will have to have the latest safety equipment in London as half of all cycle deaths are caused by lorries yet they only represent 4per cent of traffic....

 Read Full Article
Corporate Societal Impact - What Are The Measures?

A study has examined the methods companies use to measure their impact on society. The Conference Board (with bases in a number of countries) has released a study with...

 Read Full Article
Making EV Accessible - BP Agrees Chargemaster Charge

June 28 saw BP enter into an agreement to purchase Chargemaster, the UK’s largest electric vehicle charging company. Chargemaster operates the UK’s largest...

 Read Full Article
Patience Must Prevail in UK Air Pollution Plight

Amid a recent flurry of headlines around air pollution in the UK, Bureau Veritas has been quick to assert that patience must prevail as there are many major challenges to...

 Read Full Article
Massive Fine & Jail Sentences After Horrific Fatality

A recycling company has been fined £880,000 and two people have been given suspended prison sentenced after the death of an agency worker who was drawn into...

 Read Full Article
IFMA Benchmarks Cleaning, Energy, Maintenance and Environment

IFMA's FM Research and Benchmarking Institute (RBI) has published what it is describing as definitive benchmarks for facility management professionals covering...

 Read Full Article
Planet Mark CLARITY

CLARITY-The Soap Co, the social enterprise that creates employment for blind and disabled people, has been awarded The Planet Mark for demonstrating its commitment to...

 Read Full Article
I Like a Nice Cuppa Tea in the Morning...

Liverpool is officially the tea drinking capital of the UK, according to a new study. Researchers took an in-depth look into the hot beverage habits of the nation and...

 Read Full Article