Local authorities need to work with the HSE and medical professionals to crack down on the illegal dumping of medical waste, according to one representative from a town where needles and other materials were found on a roadside.
Cork County Council is investigating after used needles, medical boxes and other materials were found in the grass verge on a roadside in Carrigaline, Co Cork last week.
Local Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus McGrath said the incident is not the first time medical material was found dumped in Cork’s lower harbour area.
He said that a similar offence in nearby Passage West also prompted an enquiry.
“At the time there was an investigation but it can be very difficult to trace the materials,” Cllr McGrath said.
“Obviously, people are unfortunately careful about when they dispose of these items, careful not to leave a trace, and that's one of the biggest challenges.
It isn't the first time we've come across medical waste, and that really is a serious concern.
“At that time, I did follow up with the waste section and again this time and I think it's something that the waste authorities are going to have to redouble their efforts on, and maybe engage with the HSE and engage with health professionals and so on just to tighten up on the whole rules around the disposal of medical waste."
He said he was "not for a second" suggesting the HSE or medical professionals were responsible.
"But obviously there is some crack in the system where some individuals are doing it and we just need to tighten up on that,” he told Patricia Messinger on C103’s Cork Today programme.
Cllr McGrath said local authorities are spending huge sums in their efforts to tackle dumping across the country.
However, he added that he does not believe dumpers believe they will be caught due to the size of the county.
“I am sorry to say we do not have adequate resources when it comes to enforcement and the litter wardens that are on the ground are very, very stretched.
“We need to step that activity up because there are ways and means of catching people doing this,” he said.