Vernon received two bins. (stock photo)

Vernon received two bins. (stock photo)

Needle bins distributed throughout B.C.

Vernon receives two bins.

Effective retrieval of improperly discarded needles is considered a priority for Interior Health’s Harm Reduction program and it has officially come to Vernon.

Related: Vernon park gains needle bins

Roughly 99 per cent of the needles distributed in B.C. communities in 2017 were properly disposed of by Interior Health. All Interior Health public health centres, mental health & substance use and primary care clinics, as well as all community agencies who distribute harm reduction supplies also properly dispose of needles.

Interior Health is now working with municipalities to install new large industrial sharps bins in hot-spot areas to increase easy access to safe disposal options. The number of personal sharps containers being distributed throughout communities has also been increased substantially.

Vernon has received two needle disposal bins. They were distributed to community policing who is working with the city on installation. The volume of the insert that goes in the bins is 7.6 litres.

Collaboration with municipalities, community agencies, and concerned citizens is essential to minimize any impact of improperly discarded needles in the community. Interior Health said they appreciate innovation and encourages communities to develop programs tailored to address their needs. Regarding the recently developed needle buyback programs, it is the experience of other communities across B.C. that such a program wasn’t feasible for the following reasons:

  • Examining and counting individual needles is not recommended, as it increases the possibility of needle poke injuries.
  • Placing a monetary value on used needles may result in people stealing or breaking into sharps containers that are being placed to increase access to safe needle disposal. Not only does this put people at risk of being poked by a needle, it may actually result in more drug-related litter left behind.
  • Concerns that people may request and then return unused needles for the purpose of generating a profit.

IH encourages organizations and individuals to seek out ways to make improvements, and invite them to discuss their ideas with their Community Action Teams (CAT), Harm Reduction Agencies, local governments or directly with Interior Health online.

Related: Violence and dirty needles force Vernon salon move

Related: Volunteers clean up discarded needles

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