Brimbank Council is taking more steps to address the issue of discarded syringes around the municipality, as part of its wider action to reduce the harm caused by alcohol and other drug use.
Brimbank Mayor Cr Margaret Giudice said Council was determined to do its bit to counter the health and social harms associated with injecting drug use, including the problem of discarded syringes.
“Council will be taking a wider approach to dealing with the issue of improperly discarded syringes.
“The use and misuse of alcohol and other drugs is a complex problem that has impacts on both users and the wider community.
“Along with our community, Council has been concerned with the number of improperly discarded syringes found across Brimbank.
“In the interests of our community’s health and safety, Council has developed an action plan to improve our responses to syringe management.
“This plan was created after a broader study into alcohol and other drug trends and issues, and is part of the Brimbank Community Safety Strategy 2015-2019,” Cr Giudice said.
Under the new plan, Council will install more syringe disposal units around the municipality, including in new public toilets, in ‘hotspots’ and in Council facilities which are accessible after hours.
Council will also partner with service providers to make sure there is more community education on how to dispose of syringes safely, and will enhance the way we engage with people who inject drugs.
“An important part of our drive to keep Brimbank safe will be working with other responsible authorities to improve planning around alcohol and other drugs, as well as health services.
“We believe that getting more accurate syringe distribution and disposal data from these authorities will help Council to enhance its syringe retrieval processes.
“Council will also be advocating for an improvement of alcohol and other drug and health services in Brimbank.
“All these actions are aimed at keeping our community safe and well,” Cr Giudice said.
As part of Council’s work to manage discarded syringes, Council retrieves syringes from disposal units in Brimbank, and responds to call outs to pick up improperly disposed of syringes.
To encourage injecting-drug users to dispose of syringes properly, Council already provides fixed syringe disposal units in certain facilities across the municipality as well as portable syringe disposal units to people who need to use injecting equipment at home for medical purposes.
Anyone finding a discarded needle or syringe is asked to report the exact location using the Report Litter, Street Bins and Dumped Rubbish form on Council’s website, or call Council on 9249 4000.