Vancouver community centres will soon be home to sharps disposal bins as a matter of course.
The move comes after controversy erupted when a child found a needle at an Olympic Village community centre.
More than 200 sharps containers have been ordered for Vancouver Park Board facilities and will be installed at community centres and other properties in the coming weeks.
The move pre-empts a motion by Commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung who had seized on the lack of a safe way to dispose of needles safely at a special meeting last month.
“The staff, hearing that feedback, after my motion was submitted went ahead proactively and ordered sharps containers which are now going to be installed at every single park board facility.”
Kirby Yung says it shouldn’t have required a nudge from the board.
“Well I think it’s a shame. I think the fact that we had to have a special meeting at all really brought to light that the Park Board was really under prepared, and very ill prepared to use our facilities as emergency centres. And having procedures in place to use our centres as warming centers is another.”
Last month, a toddler found a needle at the Creekside community centre, which was housing a homeless warming shelter at the time.
That warming facility was subsequently closed, though the city maintains it was due to employee fatigue.
The board did pass another motion this evening aimed creating a plan to be better prepared to use facilities as warming centres next season.