'Sleeping rough' turns into rough ride for man inside dumpster
LONDON, ONT -- A man was reportedly resting in a dumpster when it was tipped into the back of a truck making collections.
According to police, the driver of a vehicle doing commercial waste collections for a private company noticed a man climbing out of the back of his truck about 7:35 a.m. Monday.
Witnesses say the man was in a large waste bin that had just been lifted and tipped into the truck.The dumpster was sitting on Richmond Street, just north of York Street.
Peter Graansma arrived at the scene shortly after the man was rescued, "One fellow walked by me. At the time I didn't know who he was but afterwards they said he was the fellow that was inside the dumpster."
Middlesex-London EMS transported him to hospital, but officials say he didn't suffer any serious injuries.
Graansma is the site supervisor for Graceview Enterprises - the construction contractor is doing renovations on the Youth Opportunities Unlimited building at York and Richmond.
The Graceview dumpster is located at the back of the YOU building and Graansma says scavenging is always a concern.
"We lock ours whenever we can but during the day they'll slip inside in between loads when we're trying to dump it."
Abe Oudshoorn is with the London Homeless Coalition and says this incident is a reflection of the growing problem of homelessness in the city.
"We're hearing stories about people in car parks, people in buildings, in stairwells, staying at the hospital overnight."
Oudshoorn says it’s another indication that action is needed, "Without options for folks to get into affordable housing we're seeing the shelters filling up. As the shelters fill up we see more and more people sleeping rough on the streets."
London city council is just beginning to review the budget for the coming year. Oudshoorn says recommendations for 24/7 safe spaces aren't currently in that budget but he's hoping council finds the money to support the concept.
In the meantime, Graansma hopes people recognize the dangers of getting into dumpsters.
“There's a potential for it being dumped or somebody throwing something very heavy on top of you and you could get injured.”