TIM DREW: Dealing with drug litter in a safe manner

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

The issue of litter left by drug users in Tarring Park was raised at the last meeting of the Tarring Community Forum on Tuesday, August 8, following complaints from residents and visitors to the park.

While this is being dealt with at local level (with reported findings of drug litter being logged), the problem of drug abuse remains prevalent elsewhere – notably in the parks around the town centre – and it is recommended that attention be paid to the guidelines issued by the Tarring Community Forum following the complaint.

The guidelines define a number of items as constituting drug litter, and these are as listed below:

• Drinks cans or foil containers, discoloured by heat.

• Spoons – burnt or discoloured by heat.

• Pipes, all shapes and sizes.

• Cigarette papers.

• Foil with burn mark down the middle.

• Shredded cigarettes.

• Squares of paper (folded to form a small envelope).

• Syringes and needles.

• Plastic bags and small plastic envelopes.

• Aerosol cans.

• Butane gas containers.

• Small phials and bottles.

If you come across drug related litter, it should be disposed of in a safe manner by a trained person, and the recommendation of the police is not to touch it but to contact the council’s services for recycling, refuse and waste on 01903 851729, particularly on discovering discarded needles.

These could be infected by blood borne viruses like HIV and hepatitis, so their safe removal and disposal is a potentially dangerous undertaking.

If you receive a needle injury, do not suck the wound, but encourage it to bleed by gently squeezing it.

Wash the area with clean soapy water, cover with a plaster and immediately seek medical advice.

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