Drug activity and carelessly discarded needles are an issue in many areas of Vernon, including Linear Park and behind People Place. (Jennifer Smith/Morning Star)

Drug activity and carelessly discarded needles are an issue in many areas of Vernon, including Linear Park and behind People Place. (Jennifer Smith/Morning Star)

Vernon park gains needle bins

Interior Health has supplied Community Policing with two industrial sharps bins

Needle drop bins are coming to town.

Interior Health is working with municipalities to install new large industrial sharps bins in hot-spot areas to increase easy access to safe disposal options.

“Vernon has received two of these sharps bins. They were given to community policing who is working with the city on installation,” said Karl Hardt, Interior Health communications consultant.

The number of personal sharps containers being distributed throughout communities has also been increased substantially.

“Collaboration with municipalities, community agencies, and concerned citizens is essential to minimize any impact of improperly discarded needles in the community,” said Dr. Silvina Mema, IH medical health officer. “Interior Health appreciates innovation and encourages communities to develop programs tailored to address their needs.”

See related: Interior Health against needle buyback programs

The City of Vernon, Community Policing Office and Social Planning Council are working on installing the bins, slated for Polson Park in coming weeks.

The bins would allow those using needles to safely dispose of them and keep the park clean. The bins are capable of housing a number of needles, with a volume of 7.6 litres.

Ridding Polson Park, and other areas, of needles has been a prime focus of volunteer efforts of a group called the Polson Avengers.

Meanwhile, a woman recently stepped on a used needle at Kin Beach.

The implementation of needle disposal bins was one of the recommendations of the Activate Safety Task Force, which also called on the city supplying additional bins around town.

See: Force puts Vernon to task to tackle safety

Interior Health has also supplied bins to Kelowna and Kamloops.


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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