Outreach group working to collect needles from around the city

By Ashley Wiebe
November 26, 2018 - 2:38pm Updated: November 26, 2018 - 7:17pm

 

MEDICINE HAT, AB — A local community group is sharing their numbers, showing just how many needles they’ve found in the city.

An outreach group with HIV Community Link has been going out, collecting used needles from around the city since the end of June.

In that time, they’ve picked up 96 needles.

 

A pair or two go out on Wednesday mornings and follow a route where needles are normally left discarded.

Corey Ranger with HIV Community Link said they search places like parks and back alleys around Medicine Hat. While the services are offered throughout the city, the pair normally stick to the searching the downtown and North Railway areas.

“If someone notices that a needle has been dropped, we’ll go out during that time and we’ll pick them up as well,” Ranger said. “If we start to notice that there are higher traffic areas, or areas where more are being found, we add that area to our route.”

The group has been working closely with the Medicine Hat Police Service.

If someone calls 911 dispatch to report a needle has been found, operators will offer the HIV Community Link phone number as an alternative.

The group has also been working with local businesses, offering free yellow sharps disposal containers to help collect needle debris.

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