Contributed photo                                Red Deer resident Rhonda Berger recently came across this broken tree-mounted bin designed to collect drug users’ needles.

Contributed photo Red Deer resident Rhonda Berger recently came across this broken tree-mounted bin designed to collect drug users’ needles.

Red Deer woman concerned after encountering busted needle drop box

A woman is concerned for the public’s safety after spotting a drug needle drop box while on her walk.

Rhonda Berger was recently walking among the bushes in the Pines area when she saw a container for used needles mounted to a tree.

The Red Deer woman posted her concerns on social media, saying the plastic container was full of needles and the lid was busted.

“These shouldn’t be so easily accessible to the public,” she said Thursday.

She worries the needles could fall out of the container, onto the ground, where they could present a public heath risk.

“The needles could be on the ground in the snow, for all we know,” she said.

Berger said the containers are necessary, but should be more secure – such as made of metal, like steel.

The Michener Centre area resident said she believes people could do anything with the needles, and therefore should have no access to them.

“Kids could be grabbing those needles, and it’s a bit concerning. And it should be.”

Turning Point’s Aisley Miles said there are approximately 15 tree-mounted needle containers in Red Deer. They’re spread around the city to cut down on debris.

There are a few out of the way locations in the city frequented by people either camping or hanging out, who leave behind debris, she said, adding the plastic containers are different than the metal drop boxes located downtown, which look like mail boxes.

Turning Point staff check on most drop boxes and containers about once every six weeks. Each container features a phone number to call, in case the public finds them broken or overflowing, for instance.

“When someone calls us and lets us know, we respond immediately, whether it’s vandalized or broken, or there’s debris around the box. We send someone out right away,” said Miles.

Containers used less often are checked less frequently, she said.

“Sometimes, they don’t have many contents in them. There have been times when they’re broken, unfortunately, and there are times when they’re just not there anymore – so maybe that’s someone upset that it’s there, so they take it down.

“It’s not very often that we get the ones that are broken.”

Having a metal tree-mounted container might not be feasible, said Miles, when asked about Berger’s suggestion. They would cost more and perhaps harm the tree, she said, adding the plastic containers are taped to the trees, so they don’t cause damage.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer RCMP say a 30-year-old man faces sexual charges against a teen. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Innisfail RCMP arrest man following ‘lengthy pursuit’

Innisfail RCMP say a “lengthy pursuit” through a rural area ended with… Continue reading

Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan speaks in the Alberta Legislature on Wednesday in this image from his Facebook page.
Red Deer MLA Jason Stephan sounds off on socialism in anti-lockdown speech

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan has applauded his government’s COVID-19 response, saying… Continue reading

(Photo by Paul Cowley/ Advocate Staff)
Mask bylaws not popular in rural areas

Red Deer and Blackfalds bylaws requiring masks in public places kick in on Monday

A GoFundMe campaign to support a Stettler couple following a fire has raised more than $3,000. (Contributed photo)
Family pet dies in Stettler fire

GoFundMe page has raised more than $3K so far

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question from a reporter during a bi-weekly news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau feels most Canadians could be vaccinated by September 2021

Trudeau feels most Canadians could be vaccinated by September 2021

This photo released by the semi-official Fars News Agency shows the scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in Absard, a small city just east of the capital, Tehran, Iran, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist that Israel alleged led the Islamic Republic's military nuclear program until its disbanding in the early 2000s was “assassinated” Friday, state television said. (Fars News Agency via AP)
Iran scientist linked to military nuclear program killed

Iran scientist linked to military nuclear program killed

FILE - This Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 file photo shows Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio as Pope Francis, right, arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The longtime head of the Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn said Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, that a ruling by the Supreme Court that barred New York from enforcing certain restrictions on religious services in areas hit hard by the coronavirus is a “good decision” that guarantees constitutional protections for the free exercise of religion. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, Pool, File)
Brooklyn bishop hails ruling, says diocese in line with pope

Brooklyn bishop hails ruling, says diocese in line with pope

A shopper is shown walking by a store display advertising a Boxing Day sale in Ottawa on Dec. 26, 2013. Black Friday, the one-day shopping bonanza known for its big bargains and large crowds, has arrived. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
A subdued Black Friday at retailers amid COVID-19 pandemic as sales move online

A subdued Black Friday at retailers amid COVID-19 pandemic as sales move online

Outgoing Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge answers questions during a interview at the Bank of Canada headquarters in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007. Former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge says Canada must shift its attention to investing for economic growth as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic downturn over the next few years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Growth investing needed as pandemic wanes, says former BoC governor David Dodge

Growth investing needed as pandemic wanes, says former BoC governor David Dodge

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Liberals face pressure for concrete ideas, economic plan in spending update

Liberals face pressure for concrete ideas, economic plan in spending update

Bay Street in Canada's financial district is shown in Toronto on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
S&P/TSX composite index rises as loonie jumps above 77 cents US

S&P/TSX composite index rises as loonie jumps above 77 cents US

skip2
Rimbey Christian School students experience the joy of giving

Grades three and four students raised $2,000 for Somalian children

Most Read