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News (Media Awareness Project) - CN BC: Boxes Help Get Needles Off Streets
Title:CN BC: Boxes Help Get Needles Off Streets
Published On:2009-07-10
Source:Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Fetched On:2009-07-13 17:21:05

In 11 Months, 750 Syringes Have Been Tossed Into The Yellow Bins In
The Downtown Area

Needle drop boxes helped clean up about 750 needles during the 11
months the four steel bins have stood in key areas of the downtown core.

Those are likely piles of needles that would have been in parks,
playgrounds, street corners and alley ways, according to city social
planner John Horn, who said the project was worth it even if even one
needle is taken off the street.

The downtown core had long been a scattering ground for the discarded
and often infectious syringes, despite needle exchange efforts to
have all the syringes returned.

The drop-box idea came from frustrated residents who wanted their
neighbourhoods safe from possible infections. Business owners also
supported the project.

Needle exchanges handed out approximately 7,000 needles in a month
when the boxes were first erected. Horn hopes any unreturned needles
are tossed into the bright yellow, metal bins. But given the uneven
distribution between the boxes, there may be a need to find new locations.

"We may need to move them to more convenient places or higher traffic
areas or maybe we just accept that they're only going to fill up
every two months," Horn said.

The low number also indicates that there isn't a massive injection
drug problem in the city, he explained.

Drop boxes are set up behind the A&W restaurant, facing Port Place
Mall; on Cavan Street; Haliburton Street, down from the Balmoral
Hotel; and at the end of Finlayson Street, near Nicol Street. The
Finlayson box collects the most needles.
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