- A man was rescued from a pile of recyclables at the Recology Central recycling plant in San Francisco early Monday morning, as reported by multiple sources. A fire department spokesperson indicated that the man "had trauma consistent with being crushed."
- Fire officials noted it is likely that the man was inside one of the 30-plus dumpsters picked up by Recology, and was injured by the truck's hydraulic compactor during the drive to the recycling facility.
- Recology spokesman Robert Reed told NBC Bay Area these types of incidents happen "every five to eight years."
As Reed mentioned, these incidents in which people are dumped into garbage trucks after sleeping in dumpsters are not necessarily rare, and it has become a critical issue across the industry. Early last month it was reported that two men were found dead at a Tallahassee, FL transfer station on separate occasions after each being crushed by truck compactors. In late 2015, a California man survived two cycles of compaction inside of a garbage truck in Fremont, CA — an incident which prompted former National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) Safety Director John Haudenshield to encourage drivers to shake containers and seek evidence of people in dumpsters during collections.
According to Reed, Recology employees who found the man in the recyclables "didn't try to move him," never touched him, "immediately called 911," and "kept him talking until the paramedics arrived," as reported by San Francisco Examiner. While these responses to the situation may come naturally to many workers, it is critical that plant operators across the country teach these practices to employees in the case of a similar emergency. While it may be difficult to prevent these incidents from happening — and would require an increase in public education regarding the dangers of sleeping in dumpsters — industry workers must learn the tactics exemplified by these Recology employees to ensure the highest level of safety procedures possible.