City of Kamloops Working with Partners to Improve Needle Disposal Services

Release date: 
August 24, 2017

Kamloops, BC – The City is aware that discarded needles and associated materials have been found on beaches, in parks, and in public spaces, and we are currently working with ASK Wellness and Interior Health to improve cleanup services and develop future disposal programs around the city.

What is being done?
The City has partnered with ASK Wellness and the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association (KCBIA), and both organizations have staff dedicated to picking up sharps and keeping an eye out for residents who may require emergency medical assistance.

Members of the ASK Wellness Overdose Prevention Program (ODP) team pick up discarded needles, harm‑reduction materials, and other associated materials. They walk, cycle, and drive through the community five times per week between 8:30 and 10:30 am to monitor areas where drug users may have discarded materials. The ODP team on the North Shore also responds to calls, emails, or text messages from the community. The KCBIA Customer Care and Patrol (CAP) team provides regular foot and bicycle patrols between 1st Avenue and 10th Avenue and along the Thompson River and Columbia Street. They patrol for safety concerns, pick up sharps, and are trained in first aid. CAP team members also carry naloxone kits, which they are trained to administer if needed.

Bob Hughes, Executive Director of ASK Wellness, advises “While we are determined to provide the best level of care to individuals who are deeply addicted and disengaged from community, we also recognize that their behavior continues to have a negative impact on the community at large and we feel it essential to make every effort to support and respond to the needs of the overall community in this way.”

Where can sharps be disposed of now? Will there be additional sharps bins?

There are currently five sharps containers in Kamloops: three in Riverside Park, one in Pioneer Park, and one on King Street near McDonald Park. A map with the locations of the sharps bins and other services (youth specific) can be found here.

Kamloops also has two mobile supervised consumption locations: one near ASK Wellness at 433 Tranquille Road (Tuesday-Friday, 12:00-3:30 pm) on the North Shore and one outside the Crossroads Inn at 569 Seymour Street (Tuesday-Friday, 4:00-7:30 pm, and Saturday, 11:30 am-7:30 pm) on the South Shore. Both of these locations properly dispose of sharps and harm‑reduction materials. Additionally, Interior Health accepts needles for disposal at the King Street Health Centre at 126 King Street (Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm) and the Kamloops Mental Health and Substance Use Clinic at 235 Lansdowne Street (Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm).

David Duckworth, Corporate Services and Community Safety Director, emphasized that the City continues to work with Interior Health and is hoping to install an additional 20-30 sharps bins around the city. “It’s important to give people the right tools for disposal, and we are confident these bins will contribute to reducing the number of improperly discarded needles found in public spaces.”

The City, ASK Wellness, and Interior Health will continue to work with the Ministry of Health to develop an effective and responsible approach for collecting sharps and other harm‑reduction materials.

What should I do if I find discarded needles or other related materials? 

If you find a discarded needle(s) or other drug-related materials anywhere in the City, you can phone or text 778-257-1292 or email ODP433@askwellness.ca

If you find a discarded needle(s) or other drug-related materials in the downtown area, you can also call the CAP team at 250-572-3009.

Other Resources:
Disposing of Needles Safely
Supervised Consumption Services - FAQs
What to do if you come into contact with blood or body fluids: Protecting against Infection
Information on Harm Reduction
Youth Services Map
 
-30-

Media Contacts:

David Duckworth
Corporate Services and Community Safety Director
City of Kamloops
Email: dduckworth@kamloops.ca
Phone: 250-828-3484

Bob Hughes
Executive Director
ASK Wellness Society
Email: b.hughes@askwellness.ca
Phone: 250-376-7558, ext. 223
Cell: 250-819-7519