Nfld. & Labrador

Used hypodermic needles cropping up around Conception Bay South

Improperly discarded hypodermic needles are showing up around Conception Bay South, says the town's mayor.

Mayor warns residents helping out with town cleanup to be careful

The mayor of Conception Bay South is warning residents that used hypodermic needles have been found discarded in a few areas around town. (Twitter: @LoriBrowne)

Used hypodermic needles are showing up around Conception Bay South, says the town's mayor.

Steve Tessier told CBC News on Wednesday afternoon that just a few days ago he received an email from a resident who was out for a walk with her granddaughter and found discarded needles off Gully Pond Road.

I'm hoping it's not something that's going to be more epidemic.- Steve Tessier

"They were on the beach there, and some were in the gutter area and some were in the long grass," he said.

Town bylaw enforcement has been working with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, said Tessier, because there have been three locations in town where the needles have cropped up: that Gully Pond Road area, Middle Bight Road, and one other section that Tessier can't name.

"[It's] under surveillance right now," he said.

Safety warning for cleanup volunteers

The mayor couldn't say how many had been found so far, and said it's hard to tell if there's been an increase in needle usage or if they're just being discovered after being buried under snow for the winter.

"I suspect it could have more to do with they were there all winter, just buried in snow and ice," he said. "I'm hoping it's not going to be something that's more epidemic."

Increase or not, it's a common problem, he said.

Call the enforcement, call the RNC, and let them come dispose of it in the proper manner.- Steve Tessier

"We've had issues with people putting them down in the storm sewers, that kind of thing," he said. "Our crews will go up to clean out the storm sewers and find them down there in the process of doing our maintenance program.

The town has asked residents who find needles to leave them alone and call the police or the town's enforcement division. He also warned residents to be careful during Saturday morning's town cleanup.

"If anybody's volunteering to clean up with the Three-Hour Challenge, if they do come across a hypodermic needle, please don't touch it," he said.

"Please tell their kids not to touch it. Call the enforcement, call the RNC, and let them come dispose of it in the proper manner. They've all been trained to deal with this type of biohazard."

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