A supposed shelter made of two wheelie bins designed by a multimillionaire to help rough sleepers is ‘dangerous and grossly offensive’, Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday 6 February).

Businessman Peter Dawe caused outrage after releasing a video of himself climbing into two bins that he had fashioned into a shelter which he says could help protect rough sleepers.

A fifth of people working in the waste industry have found people sleeping in bins, with Biffa revealing in 2016 that around three people a week were discovered asleep in its bins every week. 

A number of people have died after being tipped into compactors including 28-year-old Jay McLaren who was found dead at a Sunderland recycling plant in 2018 and 48-year-old Russell Lane who died from injuries sustained in the back of a refuse lorry in Kent the same year. 

Unite national officer Matt Draper said: “Peter Dawe’s idea is dangerous and grossly offensive. Our members who work in the refuse sector already have to check bins to prevent people being crushed to death in the back of lorries. Encouraging more people to seek shelter in bins is extremely irresponsible. 

“This idea would do nothing to address the shameful rise in homelessness Britain has experienced in recent years and would only further stigmatise individuals who are in desperate need of help.” 

ENDS

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: ryan.fletcher@unitetheunion.org

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.