A COLLECTION of drug paraphernalia was found dumped in a phonebox by a litter-picking group on one of their rounds – a spot that has been plagued by waste on numerous occasions.

Used needles along with other drug-related equipment was discovered at the site on Blackburn Road in Astley Bridge by volunteers.

The Litter Pickers of Astley Bridge regularly come across waste at the phonebox and want it demolished.

But Cllr Hilary Fairclough said the operator has to check if it is still in use before making a decision on dismantling it and cutting the line.

A spokesman for the volunteers, who are “very proactive” in clearing up the area, said: “Every time we go there rubbish from food has been left there or there is human waste.

“There was a garage over the road where people were taking drugs and that got demolished.

“The phonebox just needs pulling down.

“It is a mess.”

Another environmental issue that plagues Bolton is nitrous oxide cannisters, known as laughing gas, which are left behind in great numbers after being used.

The spokesman added: “We do litter-picking mainly in green spaces. Why should the wildlife have to live with people’s mess?”

The volunteers also take a sharp box out with them to discard drug paraphernalia safely.

Astley Bridge Cllr Hilary Fairclough said: “The phonebox incident was quite shocking. There were needles there where people must have been taking drugs.

“It is terrible, children will be asking their parents what is in the phonebox if they see it.”

Cllr Fairclough also praised the work of the volunteers group, who in turn work alongside other voluntary organisations.