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‘It’s a real danger’: Overflowing drugs bin forces public to clear used needles

PUBLISHED: 17:01 07 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:01 07 February 2020

Glenn Williams has complained that a sharps bin for the safe disposal of drug paraphernalia at Thetford bus station is not being emptied and used needles have been left on the ground. Photo: Glenn Williams

Glenn Williams has complained that a sharps bin for the safe disposal of drug paraphernalia at Thetford bus station is not being emptied and used needles have been left on the ground. Photo: Glenn Williams

Archant

A town’s sharps bin used for the safe disposal of drug paraphernalia has been described as a “real danger” after complaints that the council are failing to empty it.

Glenn Williams has complained that a sharps bin for the safe disposal of drug paraphernalia at Thetford bus station is not being emptied and used needles have been left on the ground. Photo: Glenn WilliamsGlenn Williams has complained that a sharps bin for the safe disposal of drug paraphernalia at Thetford bus station is not being emptied and used needles have been left on the ground. Photo: Glenn Williams

People in Thetford have hit-out at Norfolk County Council for failing to regularly empty and clear around a public sharps bin, located at the town's bus station.

Glenn Williams, of Vicarage Road, has lived in the town for four years and said he regularly checks the bin which is "always left overflowing".

The 61-year-old said: "If the council put the bin there for drug users to safely dispose of syringes and needles, then it is their responsibility to ensure the bin is emptied.

"I have never seen it emptied and it is always filled with normal rubbish and left completely overflowing.

Glenn Williams has complained that a sharps bin for the safe disposal of drug paraphernalia at Thetford bus station is not being emptied and used needles have been left on the ground. Photo: Glenn WilliamsGlenn Williams has complained that a sharps bin for the safe disposal of drug paraphernalia at Thetford bus station is not being emptied and used needles have been left on the ground. Photo: Glenn Williams

"My issue is if someone else tried to squeeze more rubbish in there with used needles they will get pricked by it. Right now it's an accident waiting to happen."

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County Hall has said that it will makes efforts to monitor and empty the bin.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: "Thank you for bringing this to the attention of Norfolk County Council, we are taking steps to ensure this is emptied and cleared as soon as possible."

Glenn Williams has complained that a sharps bin for the safe disposal of drug paraphernalia at Thetford bus station is not being emptied and used needles have been left on the ground. Photo: Glenn WilliamsGlenn Williams has complained that a sharps bin for the safe disposal of drug paraphernalia at Thetford bus station is not being emptied and used needles have been left on the ground. Photo: Glenn Williams

But while the bin has remained a risk to the community, individuals have taken it upon themselves to remove the used needles and syringes and have taken them to a local doctors to be disposed of correctly.

Mr Williams added: "It shouldn't be down to local people to clear used syringes from the streets of Thetford.

"Having moved up here from Brighton where Hepatitis C is widespread, I find it very depressing how it is apparently not taken seriously in the district. I have several friends with the infection.

"It is a serious life changing illness and one of my friends nearly died but was saved by a liver transplant.

"I put no blame on the person who left the items there but do put a lot of blame on the council for not ensuring that this bin is kept safe. It's a real danger."

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