Needles and syringes found in local forest

This is the scene which greeted a Ballymoney man walking his dog in a local forest last week - illegally dumped NEEDLES and SYRINGES.

The photograph and video on our website shows an area about 100 metres into the forest off Conagher Road where at least 30 needles and syringes were dumped.

The man told the Times: “I was walking my dog along that path, which I do regularly, when I saw the rubbish lying there.

“Dumping is quite common unfortunately but when I got closer and saw the needles and syringes, I was absolutely appalled. My dog ran straight over to the rubbish but that could quite easily have been a child who came across it. As I was leaving the forest, I happened to meet a Forestry Service worker so was able to report the incident to him. It’s just disgusting.”

A spokesman for Forest Service said: “Various controls to reduce the risk of dumping are carried out by Forest Service such as restricting access or the erection of signage in association with local councils. However, it is a difficult problem to eradicate particularly in remote rural areas. There are differing risks both to the environment and health of animals and humans depending on the type of waste dumped.

“When dumped material is found in forests action is taken to legally remove the waste substances as soon as reasonably possible after the incident happens. This may also require co-ordination with either Councils or the NIEA who have responsibility for prosecuting offenders if their investigations provide evidence of individuals involved. Anyone with information on illegal dumping incidents should contact their Council environmental health officer .”