Drug users toss syringes

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph
Used syringe found in a carpark.
Camera IconUsed syringe found in a carpark. Credit: Ian Munro

Two-hundred-and-five syringes have been found across Port Hedland in the past month.

Town of Port Hedland Mayor Camilo Blanco says the Town is “fully aware” of the fact syringes are being disposed of unsafely at facilities, parks, and gardens.

“In 2016, our crews picked up 1148 syringes throughout Hedland, and in this month alone they have picked up 205 syringes — a very high number that is reflective of the lack of respect particular community members have for our town,” he said.

“Not all these syringes are from drug use — some are from insulin injections; however it does not detract from the fact that this is a dangerous practice. It poses a very severe health and safety risk for members of our community.”

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Mr Blanco said the Town provided 12 safe needle and syringe deposit bins, at all outdoors toilets, parks and gardens throughout Port and South Hedland.

Port Hedland police Senior Sergeant Jayd Morawksi said the of act of leaving behind syringes showed a lack of thought and responsibility.

Sen. Sgt Morawksi said it was particularly dangerous for other people, children and pets.

“It’s surprising that there’s a syringe been left behind, however we are aware that there is drug use around town and that’s symptomatic of that drug use,” he said.

He said he was an advocate for the supply of clean needles to prevent blood diseases, but would prefer to see it as a needle exchange.

Concerned community members have also shared photographs on social media in the past two weeks of syringes left in public places.

One Hedland resident found a syringe during the day at Pretty Pool Beach, a popular area for visitors and families.

Needles and syringes cannot be disposed of in household waste or recycling bins, or toilets and drains as they will end up in waterways.

Town crews have needle collection kits that contain plastic contamination bins to store the syringes until disposal.

A map of all the bin locations is available at the Civic Centre and the TOPH website.

The Town advised community members to report any syringes or needles found to the local government on 9158 9300 before trying to dispose of them themselves.

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