Needle Drop Boxes to be installed around Sarnia-Lambton

Sharps Disposal Bin. (Photo courtesy of Lambton Public Health)

Bright yellow drop boxes are going to be installed around Sarnia-Lambton for the safe disposal of needles.

Lambton Public Health has launched the initiative with local municipalities and other community partners.

Family Health Manager Kevin Churchill said they’re using a harm reduction approach to help protect the entire community, including users.

“So a harm reduction approach acknowledges that there are people who are using drugs in the community, and really just tries to make that use safe not only for them in terms of their exposure to blood-borne illnesses, but at the same time protecting people in the community from accidental exposure to those blood-borne infections,” he said.

Churchill said it’s a safe way to make sure needles are finding their way back to Lambton Public Health.

“There have been increasing reports of found needles, and we’re trying to increase safe options for people to dispose of needles that may be contaminated with blood-borne illnesses including HIV, and Hepatitis C,” said Churchill. “We would all certainly like to see fewer people using opioids, but to reduce those numbers is a slow process.”

Churchill said they hope to install bins in June at six specific locations:

Pt. Edward – Lambton Public Health
Sarnia – Mitton Village
Sarnia – Victoria Street Public Parking lot
Forest – North Lambton Community Health Centre
Kettle Point First Nation
Thedford Village

The locations were identified with input from neighbourhoods, and consultation with Sarnia police and Lambton OPP.

The freestanding yellow containers, clearly labelled as Needle Drop Boxes, are secure and will be closely monitored and emptied regularly by trained professionals.