A GROUP of Blackburn litter-pickers have put out an appeal for help recycling a number of discarded nitrous oxide canisters.
Members of the Keep Blackburn Tidy group asked for support when they were left unable to recycle the metal canisters at their usual point.
Sylvia Ackers, 68, who has been litter-picking in the area for more than 10 years, said: “They’ve been collected all over the town.
“We used to collect them and hand them over to St Albans church in Blackburn, who used to get them weighed in and use the money they raised for a school in Cambodia.”
Following a number of unused canisters exploding during the recycling process, the church became unable to accept the items, leaving the group to choose between looking elsewhere or adding to the local landﬁll.
Ms Ackers added: “We’ve been unable to ﬁnd any more (recycling plants) that will accept them. The nearest place we’ve got is in Bolton.
“With the amount we’re getting now it’s hard to transport them because they’re so heavy.”
The canisters, ﬁlled with nitrous oxide, are often used illegally, with many utilising them for their short-term effects on the body, known as 'laughing gas'.
Janet Morris, 58, a newcomer to the litter-picking community, said: “I think it (drug use) is a national problem, there’s too much money to be made out of drugs.
“I cannot understand why people think it’s okay to just drop something or throw it out of a car window.
“Until you get to the top of the chain, you’ll always have this problem, people become reliant on it, and it’s a really sad situation.”