7 November 2018 by Elizabeth Slow

B&M Waste relaunches bin sleeping campaign

B&M Waste is relaunching its annual winter ‘Refuse not Refuge’ campaign, warning of the dangers of sleeping in bins.

Launching this month, the campaign is aimed at reducing the number of people seeking refuse in waste containers.

B&M Waste began stickering its bins to warn people against sleeping in bins in 2014

B&M Waste said it works in partnership with charity Crisis, which work directly with homeless to provide help them rebuild their lives and to support them out of homelessness.

“Unfortunately, there have been a number of fatalities in the industry where people have been injured and even killed after sleeping in a bin,” B&M says.


Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in July revealed that three members of the public were killed last year after sleeping in bins or skip which were later taken to recycling sites (see letsrecycle.com story). The HSE explained all three deaths as a result of “coming into contact with machinery”.

B&M explains that it operates a “rigorous” staff training and refresher programme to act as a reminder to its drivers to check each and every container before it is emptied. Also, as part of the campaign B&M said it ensures all large bins are stickered clearly with poster below.

Mick Ashall, director at B&M Waste Services commented “A recent study conducted in partnership with Streetlink indicated that it’s not only homeless people but also drunken students and party goers who sleep in bins, a massive 11%. This is why we are not only working with Crisis, but our customers, particularly Universities, Colleges and Retail Parks, to apply best practice in reducing this risk through raising awareness of the problem.”

B&M said it is now looking to partner with customers in the area to raise awareness of the danger of sleeping in a waste container.


Click to enlarge: A poster produced by B&M as part of the campaign

The concept of people sleeping in bins is not a new one. In 2010, the HSE developed a guidance, called ‘people in commercial waste containers’,  in response to calls from industry for clearer ways of working. In the past, there have also been a number of fatalities involving people sleeping in bins, with three, for example, reported in 2012/13 (see letsrecycle.com story).

The guidance included advice on risk assessments, the checking of bins, actions to take on discovering a person and examples of good practice within the industry, such as recognising high-risk locations and ensuring employees are properly briefed and trained, to help companies understand what they need to do.


B&M customers are being encouraged to assist in raising awareness by displaying its posters around their site and mentioning the campaign on social media tagging @bagnallmorris and #refusenotrefuge.

As part of the its annual campaign, B&M Waste has produced a video highlighting the dangers of sleeping in bins, to raise awareness (see below).


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