Not many things raise alarm bells quite like the risk of getting pricked by a used needle in a city park … or along a public walkway.
The city of Kingston and Street Health have joined forces to address that problem.
They will be setting up “tamper proof” disposal bins in a number of areas throughout the city, beginning this spring.
Newswatch’s Darryn Davis has more…
The needle disposal bins when they are set up will look similar to this one located just in front of Street Health on Barrack street.
The exact locations of the bins is still being determined but places like Mcburney park and parts of the K&P trail are some likely locations.
The initiative is being undertaken to address ongoing public safety and health concerns.
“So to reduce harm not only to the people who access the bins, but also to the people who are utilizing the parks, so that’s anybody who’s in the park. ”
The city of Kingston will pick up the one time cost of purchasing the bins and installing them this spring.
“The bins are approximately 2 to 3 thousand dollars including the little concrete pad they’ll sit on and we’re going to layout those bins in ten to twelve park locations. ”
It’s expected to cost 15 thousand dollars a year to collect and dispose of the needles.
That cost is being shared by KFL&A Public Health and Kingston Community Health Centres Street Health, with Street Health staff doing the collection.
“We’ll still do the park sweeps that’s not going to stop because I mean not everyone’s going to use them and we know sometimes people just toss them out of a car or they’re walking, they still might be in the park.”
“Street health staff say the needle disposal bins will also provide another benefit.
Bins that are more heavily used will give them a better indicator as to where they should be targeting their outreach programs.”
“Maybe we need to go to that park a little bit more, maybe we need to make sure people understand what services we’re offering through street health centre as well.”
Similar programs like this have been set up in both Ottawa and London where Street Health Staff say they’ve been successful in reducing the number of improperly disposed needles.
Darryn Davis CKWS News Kingston