Lo­cal woman’s nee­dle shock

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - SHAUN McMANUS

A NEW Nor­folk res­i­dent says she felt sick to her stom­ach when she found a blood­stained sharps col­lec­tor on the side of a road near where chil­dren reg­u­larly play.

Jess Shoo­bridge had just posted some letters in Ho­bart Rd last week when she turned around and saw the con­tainer on the ground near her front yard.

“I went and had a look to see what it was ex­actly and once I re­alised what it ex­actly was I thought ‘oh no, I had bet­ter get rid of it, get it out of harm’s way of the kids’,” Miss Shoo­bridge said.

“Where I live there are many fam­i­lies with young kids, our neigh­bour has a 14-mon­thold and we have a 15-mon­thold. It’s a very fam­ily-ori­ented area.”

Miss Shoo­bridge went in­side her house and got a plas­tic bag to use as a glove be­fore pick­ing the con­tainer up, tak­ing it in­side, and plac­ing it in a bucket still in the bag.

She then handed it over to the Derwent Val­ley Coun­cil.

“I felt sick to my stom­ach, I ac­tu­ally thought ‘who could leave some­thing like that there, en­dan­ger­ing other lives’,” she said.

Miss Shoo­bridge said she had heard of other nee­dle-re­lated in­ci­dents in New Nor­folk re­cently.

Derwent Val­ley Coun­cil gen­eral man­ager Greg Win­ton urged peo­ple to dis­pose of sharps re­spon­si­bly.

“Sharps such as nee­dles, sy­ringes, picks, bar­rels and lancets pose a risk of in­jury for any­one who may come into con­tact with them if they are not dis­posed of cor­rectly,” Mr Win­ton said.

“Sharps should al­ways be placed in an ap­pro­pri­ate sharps con­tainer with rigid walls, which is re­sis­tant to punc­ture and is sealed or se­curely closed.”

Mr Win­ton said the coun­cil pro­vided sharps col­lec­tion con­tain­ers in its pub­lic toi­lets.

“The con­tain­ers are se­curely fas­tened within metal units to en­sure they re­main in place un­til they are col­lected by coun­cil staff as part of reg­u­lar clean­ing and main­te­nance sched­ules for the toi­let fa­cil­i­ties,” he said.

”Health fa­cil­i­ties, phar­ma­cies and doc­tor’s surg­eries also hold sharps con­tain­ers which may be ac­cessed for sharps man­age­ment. It’s ad­vis­able to con­tact the fa­cil­ity be­fore tak­ing sharps for dis­posal.”

Sharps con­tain­ers can also be pur­chased from the Derwent Val­ley Coun­cil.

The con­tain­ers are in a num­ber of sizes for dif­fer­ent needs.

Peo­ple may pur­chase a con­tainer which will be dis­posed of safely and at no charge by the coun­cil once the con­tainer is filled.

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