Tuesday 23 December 2014

Binmen save homeless man’s life after he is emptied into rubbish truck

Man seconds away from being crushed to death when he was spotted

Published 21/02/2014 | 12:26

Greyhound Bin collecting in East wall.KOB....16.2/12
A file shot of Greyhound Bin truck collecting rubbish

A HOMELESS man was just seconds from being crushed to death when the bin he was sleeping in was emptied into a rubbish truck.

Members of staff at Greyhound Recycling said that they were shocked when they discovered a man amongst he piles of refuse in the recycling truck and immediately stopped the compactor machine, which was just seconds away from coming on top of him.

The incident occurred close to apartments on Hardwick Street, close to Dublin city centre shortly before 8am this morning.

“A poor, unfortunate homeless man had been sleeping in a large recycling bin in the Hardwick Street flats area of the city centre.

“The man was tipped from the bin into the collection truck but was very fortunate that the compactor was down.

“We are relieved and delighted the man walked away unharmed,” said Michael Buckley, CEO of Greyhound Recycling.

A representative from the company said that the three operators of the truck involved in the incident were “shaken” afterwards.

“The man was not harmed, he got up and walked away, but an ambulance was called to the scene in case,” he added.

Last August, Henryk Piotrawski was found dead by staff at the Panda recycling plant as they unloaded waste from a truck.

A friend of the 43-year-old Polish national said that he felt “safe” in the bin, as he was warm in there and had been attacked on at least two other occasions.

Greyhound Recycling said that this morning's incident has become an increasingly worrying trend in recent times.

 “An increasing number of people are putting their lives in at risk by using large bins as a source of shelter and heat.

“I am calling on the main waste management companies to agree safety check protocols on the collection of large bins,” Mr Buckley said.

Pat Doyle, CEO of the Fr Peter McVerry Trust, described the incident as “distressing”.

“Reports such as these are distressing and highlight the vulnerability of rough sleepers.

“The homeless sector is working extremely hard to increase capacity and has added 100 additional beds since the last rough sleeper count in November.

“We are continuing to put every effort into decreasing the number of rough sleepers in the city,” he said.

His organization has been working with homeless people in the city centre for three decades.

Earlier this year, Dublin city councillors reversed a proposal of almost €9 million in cuts, and instead decided to increase funding for homeless people in this year's budget.

The cuts had been recommended following reductions in government funding of €5.6 million for homeless services and €3.2 million for housing adaptation grants.

However, at a meeting in January, councillors restored these amounts and added €400,000 for the homeless.

Emma Jane Hade

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