City announces safe ‘Sharps’ disposal plan

(Penticton, BC – September 17, 2018) – To assist local efforts aimed at safely managing discarded needles (Sharps), Penticton City Council, during its May 22 Committee of the Whole meeting, adopted three resolutions recommended by a coalition of community partners who, in the interest of addressing this growing problem, created and introduced and Sharps Disposal Strategy.  To support the strategy, City staff, working in conjunction with the coalition, have now finalized plans to operationalize the following resolutions:

  • Identify and confirm where Sharps disposal drop boxes can be most effectively located on City properties, such as parks, washrooms and buildings;
  • Install drop boxes at these City properties; and
  • Provide information on the City’s website that educates the public on where drop boxes are located, provide safety guidelines for disposing of needles and share further details on the sharps disposal strategy.

“Discarded needles are a dark reality that many communities are forced to deal with.  Having more sharps containers throughout the community should help to reduce the risk and clean up some of our public spaces”, said Penticton Mayor, Andrew Jakubeit.

 “Providing sharps disposal units has proven effective in other Canadian communities to reduce the number of needles discarded in public spaces. It is really about accessibility and increasing options for disposal.” says Ian Gerbrandt, a Program Director with OneSky Community Resources. “OneSky is proud to be working with the City and community partners to pilot this new program in Penticton and augment efforts in harm reduction and community safety.”

Site assessments and markings for drop boxes on both private and public land took place in August with installation starting September 12.  For the outdoor drop boxes installed on public land , the following locations were agreed to.

  • Creekside Trail- Nanaimo Ave/Van Horne Street
  • Industrial Ave Trail- south of Wholesale Club near creek
  • Okanagan Lake Park- east end past dog beach
  • Public Library-west side of building
  • Shanghai Lane/200 Block Main Street lane- public washroom exterior
  • Rose Garden Walkway-1099 Lakeshore Drive
  • Marina Way- entrance to Esplanade trail
  • Fairhaven Housing-2670 Skaha Lake Road
  • Penticton United Church-696 Main Street

To learn more about the coalition’s disposal strategy, including their goals to raise awareness of needle safety, reduce the number of needles discarded in public spaces and provide more options for disposal, please review the following strategy here. 

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Contacts:

Tina Siebert

Bylaw Supervisor

City of Penticton

250-490-2465

 

Ian Gerbrandt

Director of Child, Youth, & Family Services

One Sky Community

250-487-3375