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  • Southside

Council to take action on discarded needles

Friday, 2nd March, 2018 8:00am
Council to take action on discarded needles

Locals have been concerned at the waste left behind.

Council to take action on discarded needles

Locals have been concerned at the waste left behind.

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Rachel Farrell

LOCAL authorities in South Dublin are to join forces in a bid to rid the area of discarded needles and other drugs paraphernalia.

The action will be taken by South Dublin County Council, alongside the local drugs task force, gardaí and community addiction services to address the problem.

Th issue was raised at a recent council meeting by Cllr Mark Ward (SF) who has described how locals have been concerned by the disposal of contaminated drug waste on private and public lands in the area.

According to Cllr Ward, discarded syringes and needles were removed by local addiction support centres but that increased insurance costs had impeded the service.

“The insurance to provide that service has gone from €2,000 per year to €10,000 per year,” Cllr Ward said. “The support centres have not received a funding rise in line with that so they just can’t continue with that service. 

“That falls then on the council as a statutory body who are solely responsible for removing any drug paraphernalia around the area.

“Unfortunately, there has been gaps in times where the council hasn’t responded quickly enough to remove drug paraphernalia which is leaving needles in areas for three or four days in a row before they’re removed. 

“I’ve had photographs sent into me and I’ve seen it first-hand myself.”

At the January council meeting, a motion was passed whereby the council has agreed to sit down with the local drugs task force, the gardaí and the community addiction services so they can respond to reports of discarded drug paraphernalia sooner.

“The second thing, which the council weren’t doing but they’re going to do from now on, is to record the number of drug paraphernalia collected,” he added. “That’s important on a couple of levels. When the community addiction service was doing that, if they noticed an increase in the number of syringes that would indicate an increase in the number of users in the area. 

“So, it’s important that when the council is collecting drug paraphernalia that they’re recording it, to see if there’s any significant rise or if there’s a decrease, or any changes in trends.

“The long-term goal has always been to reduce drug use in the area but unfortunately drugs are always going to be there.”

A council spokesperson said that they already had an established protocol in place to deal with drug paraphernalia on public property.

“Following from Cllr Ward’s motion, which was passed at the January council meeting, the council has arranged to meet with Cllr Ward and representatives from other stakeholders to discuss how best to create synergies to deal with the issue, in particular the speedy removal of drug paraphernalia from private lands,” a spokesperson said.

“I can also confirm that a mechanism is being arranged for the individual logging of complaints specific to the presence of drugs paraphernalia.”

 

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