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Bin shelters risk grows

March 14 2016
Last year, Biffa found 175 people  in its large commercial bins, up from the previous year's  93

The number of homeless people sleeping in bins continues to rise, according to waste management companies.

Biffa said that from March 2015 until February 2016, 175 people were found in its large commercial bins. In the whole of the previous year just 93 people were found, and in 2014 the figure was 31.

Biffa believes its higher figures are a result of a combination of factors including better reporting, a rise in rough sleeping, and shops recycling more dry waste such as cardboard and plastic, making the bins more attractive places in which to shelter.

The firm Veolia also says it is trying to raise awareness of the problem and get its staff to record the number of rough sleepers. They found two in January.

Figures from the Environmental Services Association show there have been at least 11 deaths since October 2010 caused by people sheltering or sleeping in bins.

With rough sleeping increasing across England, it has been suggested that the rise is linked to a decrease in support on offer for homeless people.

Homeless Link, which represents homeless charities, claimed 41 per cent of accommodation projects in 2015 had “experienced a decrease in their funding since the last financial year”, with 40 per cent reporting no change and 8 per cent having an increase in funding.

In 2013, the Chartered Institute of Waste Management called on bin collection companies to help it tackle the problem.The Pavement has campaigned for many years to raise awareness of bin deaths.