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Saturday 1 October 2016

'Syringe bins' could be rolled out across city within months

A syringe disposal bin at Wood Quay
A syringe disposal bin at Wood Quay

Drug and homelessness services around Dublin have welcomed a new initiative that could see syringe bins installed across the city.

It's hoped that several public 'sharps bins' could be in place by the end of the year, as part of a move by Dublin City Council.

Council officials confirmed that two bins have been in place since January, and believe the outdoor bins are the only ones of their kind in Britain and Ireland.

Risks

One of the bins has reportedly collected 2kg of drug material since its installation, reducing the amount of discarded drug paraphernalia in the area by 20pc.

Pat Doyle, CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust, said he "absolutely welcomed" the plans, saying they reduced health and safety risks for both the general public and drug users.

"It also highlights how big the addiction issue is in this country," he said.

"The most distressed calls we get from the public are about seeing someone injecting on the street."

He also called the introduction of syringe bins "the first step" in addressing addiction in the city.

"The second step is introducing safe injection centres," he added. "If we were in other countries, we would have safe places to shoot up and safe places to dispose of the needles."

Mr Doyle also revealed that six people who use the Trust's services have died as a result of drug use since the beginning of 2016.

Tony Duffin, director of the Ana Liffey Drug Project, said he hoped the bins would reduce the number of used needles on the city's streets.

"It's a health and safety issue for the people who are living on the streets, for people who are looking to enjoy the parks and for those who are injecting," he said.

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