Plan to protect Dublin homeless sleeping in bins
Dublin City Council to call in recycling companies after man narrowly escapes being crushed
Sleeping rough. The question of how to deal with the danger faced by of the increasing numbers of rough-sleepers homeless people who choosing to sleep in bins is to be discussed by Dublin City Council in conjunction with the city’s waste recycl ers, it has emerged ing companies.
The question of how to deal with the danger faced by the increasing numbers of homeless people who sleep in bins is to be discussed by Dublin City Council in conjunction with the city’s waste recycling companies.
A spokeswoman for the council said officials would meet with the largest operator, Greyhound Recycling, next week after a near fatal incident in the city yesterday morning in which a sleeping homeless man was tipped from a recycling bin into a compacting truck.
The man was saved from being crushed only because the operating crew heard movements inside the compactor and they were able to turn it off seconds before he would have been fatally injured.
The incident highlighted the “increasing vulnerability” of those sleeping rough, according to homelessness charity Peter McVerry Trust.
The incident occurred at about 7.50 am in the Hardwicke Street area in the north inner city when rubbish collectors with Greyhound were emptying large, 1,100 litre recycling bins into the compactor. Greyhound chief executive Michael Buckley said the crew heard movement and a person shouting, “Stop, stop!”
“So they immediately shut down the truck and called the emergency services. When everybody was on scene they opened the back of the truck and luckily the man got out and he was alive . . . It was a very near-fatal incident.”
A Greyhound spokesman said homeless people were “bedding down” in the large recycling bins in increasing numbers. “We know the number of people sleeping rough has increased in Dublin. The attraction of the large recycling bins is that they are full of cardboard, which is clean, and cardboard is actually quite warm.
“What can happen is they get in and can sink down into the cardboard while they sleep and it can be very difficult to actually notice anyone in there until the bin has been emptied.
“I have to say the guys were very observant. We have an emergency procedure that we use in these situations and they stuck to it,” he said.
The number of people sleeping rough in the capital is widely recognised as having reached crisis proportions, up 50 per cent since last April. In addition all 1,600 emergency beds in the city are full on a nightly basis. Among these 1,600 beds are 20 provided for the first time this year by the Civil Defence.
Pat Doyle, chief executive of Peter McVerry Trust, described yesterday’s incident as “distressing” and said it highlighted the vulnerability of rough sleepers.
He said the large bins were enclosed and offered both shelter from the weather and protection from possible on-street assaults.