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Needles in blue bin shocker

This shocking scene is one of the worst abuses of the recycling collection services offered by Boston Borough Council.

The used syringes in this picture had been left near the top of the bin inside a plastic bag.

Fortunately the council's bin man noticed the bin lid was slightly open with a piece of carpet wedged in the top. He took it out to facilitate mechanical emptying of the bin into the bin lorry and then noticed the suspicious-looking bag and tore it open to reveal this shocking scene.

Purely by chance he avoided being injured. Had he not spotted the needles the contents of the blue bin would have been emptied into the lorry and taken to the Boston Waste Transfer Station and then the Material Reclamation Facility where some sorting of recycled material is done by hand.

George Bernard, head of environmental services at the council, said: "This is a shocking abuse - the worst I have come across in 40 years. There are multiple issues here - not least the very real health risk posed to all those connected with collecting and processing recycled waste."

He made an appeal for residents to not bag recycled material, but to place it loose in their blue bins, and to only place material in the bin which can be recycled - there is a guide on the council website at

Officers visited the property and spoke to the resident responsible for placing the needles in the bin, advising that it is not acceptable.

Responsible needle users can dispose of their sharps themselves by bring them, in a proper yellow sharps box, to the council's reception desk in West Street.

Please report any discarded hypodermic needles you find to Boston Borough Council by calling 01205 314 200 so that we can safely retrieve them and dispose of them correctly.

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