Police in Waikato are appealing for any last sightings of a man whose body was discovered in a cardboard bale in Hamilton.
Daniel Bindner, 40, was homeless, estranged from his family and had been living rough in his home town of Te Awamutu.
Detective Inspector Hywel Jones is leading the investigation and told Morning Report police would like to speak to anyone who may have seen Mr Binder in the days leading up to his death.
Police are also looking for a dark satchel he was seen with in CCTV photos.
Mr Jones said it was a "distinct possibility" Mr Bindner was sleeping in cardboard recycling skip bin and was picked up by a recycling truck in Te Awamutu and taken to the plant.
A toxicology report, which would show if the man had any drugs or alcohol in his system, would take a several weeks to come through, and the cause of his death was still unexplained, Mr Jones said.
"The nature of his injuries, as a result of going through the recycling process, makes it quite difficult to identify any of the factors."
Hamilton Christian Night Shelter manager Peter Humphreys said Mr Binder was not the the first person to be collected by a recycling truck while sleeping rough.
Another person in Waikato had a narrow escape last year after the cage he was sleeping in was collected by a recycling truck.
"He ended up at the transfer station and woke up, he was in a skip. He may've had a few drinks too many and had fallen asleep."
It was not uncommon for homeless people to sleep in cardboard recycling cages for warmth and security, however, the night shelter tried to emphasise recycling cages were not safe places to sleep, Mr Humphreys said.