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Photo by Mark Newman

Photo by Mark Newman

Heather Watson, a harm reduction worker with The AIDS Network, will be safely picking up used needles through the Community Points Program.

Hamilton Community Points targets discarded needles

Program has expanded to include private property

 By Mark Newman, News Staff 

Mountain residents who find discarded needles or other drug injection equipment on their residential or business property should call 905-546-CITY (2489).

“We’ll come within 24 hours,” said Ruthann Tucker, executive director of The AIDS Network, which has teamed up with the city’s public health department in the Community Points Program, an initiative that began last year to safely clean up needles from public spaces.

Tucker said the program has been expanded to include picking up needles from private property in the city.

She noted the City will take the initial call and then make the decision on whether to send a municipal employee or someone from The AIDS Network who has been trained to safely collect discarded needles.

“For us it’s about keeping the neighbourhoods clean and safe,” said Tucker, who noted they picked up about 250 discarded needles on the Mountain last year.

Tucker said the needles were from a variety of locations across the upper city.

She would not say if there were any particular hot spots.

“They weren’t (in) what I would call a regular place that we had to go back again and again,” Tucker said.

Tim McClemont, president of the The AIDS Network, said the collected needles are turned over to a medical waste disposal service that incinerates the material at the company site.

 

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