A NEW campaign to make people aware of the dangers of picking up used needles is to be launched in the city.
A community sub-group of the Mid-West Drugs Task Force has secured funding to erect signs locally advising people of what to do, and what not to do with used needles dumped in the city.
Northside councillor Maurice Quinlivan says the problem of drug addicts leaving their used syringes in littered areas is a growing one in the city.
“Personally, I found a needle in O’Connell Street, as well as a couple near the Upper William Street flats, and in St Mary’s Park. In fairness to the council, they pick them up very quickly after you report them,” he said.
The Limerick Leader has highlighted this problem in the past.
In May last year, young Holly Sheehy, from the King’s Island tripped on a used heroin needle while out playing. The youngster had to be hospitalised, and until recently was on a cocktail of drugs to make sure any infection was cleared.
Luckily, she has made a full recovery.
Cllr Quinlivan said the posters will also give people a telephone number to call should they find a used syringe.
“It is an issue which is definitely growing, and one which we need to tackle,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, at this week’s environmental committee meeting, councillor Kieran O’Hanlon called for a wheelie bin to be put in place at the Park Road recycling depot.
Many people are going down to the Canal Bank only to find the bottle banks are too full up.
They then leave their bottles beside the banks in the expectation they will be picked up by the council.
But Cllr O’Hanlon says many constituents have been shocked to have had their car number plate read, and slapped with a €150 fine.
“I find this unacceptable, because the fine can be up to €150. I have had a lot of people come to me, who are outraged at this. They are not people who litter. €160 is a lot for people who are on the basic social welfare, and I think there is a lot of intransigence here on the part of officials,” he said.
Director of service Caroline Curley suggested the person keep the rubbish in their car until the bins are emptied.
But Cllr O’Hanlon said the cost of petrol to and from the site is too much for repeat visits.
“We should be facilitating them instead of prosecuting them,” he concluded.