Kitimat’s Harm Reduction Committee is in the process of securing funding to install three safe needle disposal bins in the district.
Two of the bright yellow 72-litre steel bins will be installed in Kitimat and one in Kitamaat Village, mounted on cement pads. The bins, which cost nearly $5,000 to purchase and install, are tamper and bear-proof.
The committee in collaboration with the District of Kitimat is pursuing external funding to cover the purchase and installation costs.
The two bins in Kitimat will be installed on District of Kitimat property, the locations ultimately decided upon by the District in consultation with the community and based on input from people who will make use of the disposal bins.
The bins have already been installed in Prince George, Terrace and Houston where they have contributed to the reduction of needles being disposed of unsafely.
The bins will be emptied once a week by Northern Health staff, the cost of this service covered by the health authority as well.
The committee also sees the installation of the bins as an opportunity to educate the community about the Harm Reduction program, which includes education on how to use naloxone spray to counter the effects of a drug overdose.
The disposal bins are typically used by people with diabetes who use needles to inject insulin, people with cancer, arthritis, or other painful conditions may inject drugs for pain control and people who inject drugs because they have an addiction.