Sharps waste dumped in Totnes

Sharps boxes containing used hypodermic needles are being found dumped in bushes around an area of a supermarket car park used by thousands of shoppers.

Over the last few months, Pam Frost has found three of the metal boxes near the entrance to the Morrisons car park next to the Town Mill.

And she claimed that local GP surgeries, the town hospital and the supermarket have all refused to take the boxes when she tried to get them disposed of safely.

Instead she was told to telephone South Hams Council who would send someone out to pick it up.

Pam, who opted to take a box to the district council’s Follaton House headquarters herself rather than leave it lying around for someone else to pick up, said: “Did they want me to throw it back on the hedge for some children to find?”

Totnes has been facing growing concerns about drug use in the town centre which saw all the town’s public toilets closed over Christmas because addicts had made them too dangerous to use.

Pam discovered the boxes while carrying out her own litter picking operations around the town leat and supermarket car park area which is used as the main entrance to the supermarket by pedestrians going to and from the town centre.

They were all found close to the Town Mill where a public bench was completely removed after it became a gathering spot for homeless addicts.

Pam said she had been left frustrated by the various people refusing to take responsibility for the dumped sharps boxes.

It is commendable that a concerned resident takes action to improve the amenity and protect others, but there remains a real risk of injury in doing so without the appropriate equipment and PPE items.

Overall, it suggests that Totnes council does not operate a sufficiently responsive retrieval service, and indeed possibly doesn’t make it easy for those finding sharps little to contact them and receive the necessary response.

Clinical wastes in the community – LA management of discarded drug litter

It doesn’t seem that the very simple message, safety and speed, has got through. Regulators don’t make any effort to improve performance either.

Perhaps we should repeat the survey of LA performance in management sharps litter?


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