This month, as winter really starts to bite, we’ve been joined on our early morning round in Liverpool city centre by one of the outreach workers from homelessness charity The Whitechapel Centre as we highlight our campaign warning about the dangers of sleeping in bins.

Gaskells has been supporting The Whitechapel Centre for more than a year now, both financially and through raising awareness of the work they do for homeless people in and around the Liverpool area. We also dedicated the whole of October to raising money for the charity, with a variety of fundraising events.

To check on our ongoing campaign warning against sleeping in bins, Russ from the outreach team joined Sam and Dave on our Trade One route to see the way our staff are trained to make sure no one is in our containers before they’re lifted. Russ was also with us to monitor how much of an impact the Labre House overnight shelter is having on the number of people sleeping on the streets.

It was a fascinating morning as our drivers are used to seeing people sleeping rough every day, but to hear their stories from Russ was a real eye opener. He knew all of the rough sleepers we saw, he knew their names and how they’d ended up on the streets, which brought it home to us, yet again, they’re just people who’ve had some very bad luck. What was good to hear from Russ though, we saw 11 rough sleepers during the whole round, which he told us was far fewer than they usually see. Russ told us this is a good sign, as it means more people are accessing their services and getting in from the cold.

As we said, winter is now here, with temperatures freezing overnight, so we really do want to highlight our campaign on the dangers of sleeping in bins.

Commercial Director Denise Banks said  “Safety is at the forefront of everything we do at Gaskells and this campaign raises awareness of an issue which affects the whole waste industry. For people on the streets, a large bin full of cardboard can seem a warm and dry place to spend the night, but when the bin is emptied if someone’s still inside, they’re running the risk of injury or even death. It’s not just the homeless at risk, we are heading into Christmas party season, and it has been known for people to climb in bins to sleep the booze off, as an alternative to getting a taxi home. This is a very real danger, so all our large Front End Loader containers and some of our larger bins have stickers on warning of the dangers, and also contact details for The Whitechapel Centre. Our drivers and loaders are all trained to check no one is in our containers before they’re lifted, but we feel a bit more awareness can’t hurt.”