A NURSE said she is “flabbergasted” it has taken almost a month for the council to arrange collection of nearly 100 discarded medicine vials discovered while litter picking.

Alison Edwards said she ‘cannot comprehend’ what has delayed Buckinghamshire Council in recovering 99 expired vials of Atropine found in Winchbottom Lane, in Little Marlow, on January 27.

She said she believes “there is supposed to be a four-hour turnaround from reporting” – adding she has since the discovery made in the region of six phone calls trying to have them collected.

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Bucks Free Press:

PICTURED: Ms Edwards' tweet at Bucks Council

She said she had to chase the council for a “sharps box” to contain the vials after one failed to arrive, before calling a further four times and tweeting at them to have it collected from her property.

She said she is ‘disappointed’ collection and disposal “seem to be left to the public”.

Ms Edwards has since been advised the bin will be collected “Friday week” (March 5).

Atropine can be used ‘to treat certain poisonings, including nerve agent and pesticide, as well as types of slow heart rate, and decreasing saliva production in surgery’.

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Bucks Free Press:

PICTURED: The 'sharps box' which is still in her garage

“As a nurse I felt safe to remove these and bring them home to contain in my garage,” said Ms Edwards.

“I reported it to the council who said they’d send me a sharps box so I could then call them for collection.”

When no box arrived, Ms Edwards called two more times “before one was eventually left on my doorstep”.

“I [then] phoned four or five times leaving a message each time and had no response,” she said.

“I can’t comprehend what the delay is,” she added. “It’s very disappointing that the collection and disposal of these sharps seem to be left to the public.

“I could have put them in a waste bin but chose to do the right thing. I’m wondering why I bothered now.”

She added: “I am flabbergasted at this. I understand there is supposed to be a four-hour turnaround from reporting. If the excuse is that the case was referred to another contractor within four-hours, I don’t accept this.

“Luckily, I was competent and able to handle these safely and they were not unsheathed syringes found by a child.”

Bucks Free Press: In an online response to her February 21 tweet, Bucks Council replied: “We sincerely apologise that the sharps collection has not been executed.” It then provided a phone number and web link for the waste and recycling team.

Bucks Council was approached for comment.

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