The Guardian (guardian_news) wrote,
The Guardian

‘If you don’t see them, they get tipped in’: rise in rough sleepers using bins for shelter

Increase in homelessness has led to more people being found sleeping or sheltering in bins

As winter draws closer, waste containers – especially those containing cardboard – become increasingly important for rough sleepers. Binmen Jamal and Steve know this well. Every weekday, before they work their central London route, they are reminded by their depot foreman that as well as paper, plastic and aluminium, the containers they pick up may contain people.

Finding people sheltering inside waste containers is relatively rare – millions of bins are emptied every year in the UK with nobody inside – but rising homelessness has meant it is an increasingly common situation, with the result that Jamal and Steve must look carefully before they tip waste into their lorry’s compressor, known as “the vulture”.

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