ACT News


Senior ranger needled by safety issues

GLENN TOMLINSON is blunting a sharp problem.

The 46-year-old senior ranger is one of the people responsible for picking up abandoned syringes, sometimes from the most worrying places.

''We've even picked them up from playgrounds, no doubt about it,'' said the Territory and Municipal Services worker.

But it appears fewer syringes are being dropped around Canberra this year.

There were 5478 discarded needles collected in 2011-12, and so far there have been 2648 this financial year.

Not all are dropped in dangerous places. Many are left in special safety bins, but the rangers are on duty seven days a week to respond to calls to pick up a syringe if it does not go into one of the bins.

All are eventually incinerated after being picked up by rangers wearing gloves and using tongs.

It is not Mr Tomlinson's only job. He also removes abandoned cars from public places, makes sure signs are legally placed, and fines supermarkets for leaving trolleys lying around.

Already this year close to 100 trolleys have been impounded and their owners forced to pay a total of more than $10,000 to get them back.