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Semaine nationale de l'action bénévole
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Winter Price Meltdown
by Brad Aubin
In just one month, nearly 11,000 used needles were taken out of the community to be disposed of safely, thanks to a campaign by the WN Alliance Centre and the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit.
Their “Sharps Buy Back” program saw the centre hand out $5 food vouchers for every 100 used needles or syringes brought in, the equivalent of a large sharps container similar to a 2L pop bottle. The initiative was aimed at the same clientele that uses the centre’s needle exchange program, swapping used sharps for new ones.
According Michael Taylor, a substance abuse counselor at the Alliance Centre, the program was a major win in making the community safer. The only downside is that it was too short-lived, running only one month.
“In my humble opinion, it was a huge success. The NBPSDHU ran a pilot project for this last year in North Bay and had a good result, so they wanted to do it again. For the nominal cost of $200, we had a huge amount of needles brought back to us. So much so in fact, that I would like to see this program run quarterly, or a few times a year, just because of how successful it was. The program wasn’t even planned! We just went along with it with little to no advertising,” states Taylor.
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