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Biffa helps fight homelessness in Scotland

11 • October • 2021

Biffa helps fight homelessness in Scotland

Leading sustainable waste management company Biffa is launching a partnership with Simon Community Scotland (SCS) to tackle homelessness in the country. SCS is a Scottish charity that provides help and support to homeless people via their street teams, drop in support and advice centres, and 24-hour helpline. SCS work across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Central Scotland.

11 October 2021

Biffa helps fight homelessness in Scotland

Leading sustainable waste management company Biffa is launching a partnership with Simon Community Scotland (SCS) to tackle homelessness in the country. SCS is a Scottish charity that provides help and support to homeless people via their street teams, drop in support and advice centres, and 24-hour helpline. SCS work across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Central Scotland. 

The partnership with Biffa will support the services that SCS provides as well as raising awareness for the charity. Biffa is sponsoring a SCS street team in Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as the cost of the helpline throughout the month of October to give advice and support to those in need. On average, the helpline receives 500 to 600 calls per month. On the streets, Biffa operate over 140 vehicles in Scotland with some of them carrying the SCS logo and helpline number as they complete their rounds in central Scotland.

SCS are committed to eliminating homelessness and firmly believe that everyone should have a safe space to live and access the support they need.

Gavin Money, the regional manager at Biffa, commented: “This is a really positive, socially-engaged organisation that I am excited to be a part of with Biffa. The reality is our collection teams are on the streets every day and come across people that need support, and we want to be able to do as much as we can to help. Our partnership with SCS will allow us to educate our staff, volunteer and make a difference to people’s lives.”

Biffa has worked hard to raise awareness of the dangers of people sleeping in bins, issuing a call to action on waste management companies to make their bins harder to access, as well as commissioning research with the Open University and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management to find out the extent of the issue in the sector. Biffa introduced its own approach to the issue by implementing warning stickers, locks and even trialling human detection technology. The collaboration with SCS is part of Biffa’s continued support to tackle the issue and eradicate homelessness.

In 2020 - 2021, the Scottish government recorded 42,000 people in homeless households with 25% of these households’ containing children, despite rooms and housing offered during the pandemic reducing applications for housing. [1]  With the lockdown rules ending, this figure is likely to increase to pre-pandemic levels.

Murray Easton, Head of Fundraising & Communications at Simon Community Scotland, said:  "Everyone at SCS is delighted to be working in partnership with Biffa. Our street teams in Edinburgh and Glasgow are out every single day, connecting with people who are sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough. We provide advice, support to access services and some on-street services."

Murray added: "Our partners at Biffa are also out on the streets every day, making this partnership feel incredibly natural and we're excited about how we can work together to increase awareness of the issue, change and ultimately save lives. We really appreciate Biffa’s support – their teams will be on the ground helping with our helpline the week commencing with world homeless day on 10th October."

You can find out more about the work Simon Community Scotland are doing here: https://www.simonscotland.org/, or you can ring their helpline on 0800 027 7466.


[1] Homelessness in Scotland report 2020-2021, 29th September 2021, https://www.gov.scot/publications/homelessness-scotland-2020-2021/

 

-ENDS- 

For further information, contact:

Houston

biffa@houston.co.uk

0204 529 0549 

About Biffa

With a history of leading the UK’s waste management industry for over 100 years, today Biffa is an established enabler of the UK circular economy.

 

Our team of more than 10,000 colleagues carry out essential operations every day to support the UK circular economy including collection, surplus redistribution, recycling, treatment, disposal and energy generation.

 

Our purpose is ‘to change the way people think about waste’ and sustainability has been at the heart of our business strategy for many years. We have already made huge strides in our sustainability journey by investing in plastic recycling and energy from waste infrastructure, surplus redistribution and low carbon collections, leading to a 70% reduction in our carbon emissions since 2002. Our sustainability strategy ‘Resourceful, Responsible’ will see us unlock £1.25bn of investment in vital green economy infrastructure by 2030, while further reducing our carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. We aim to have net zero emissions no later than 2050.

 

We understand that we must lead by example and are committed to further improving health, safety and wellbeing in our sector. We are proud to have been awarded a 5 star grading by the British Safety Council. We have also made strong progress in making sure Biffa is an inclusive place to work where diversity is championed and our >10,000 strong workforce feel valued and understand the positive contribution they make to enabling the UK circular economy.

 

Our long-standing Biffa Award programme supports sustainable projects across the UK which deliver environmental benefits while making a valuable contribution to local communities. Our partnership with WasteAid helps countries in the developing world with managing their waste more sustainably.