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Needle Disposal Box Installed At Bloomington's Butler Park

Needle Disposal Box At Butler Park

Needle Disposal Box at Butler Park (Seth Tackett, WFIU/WTIU News)

The city of Bloomington is rolling out a plan to provide needle disposal boxes in public parks. The Parks and Recreation Department recently installed a sharp box at Butler Park in the near West Side neighborhood.

The department plans to install two more sharps boxes; one at Seminary Square and one at the Building Trades Park.

Paula McDevitt, the administrator at the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Departments, says that for the last two years her department has taken data on the number of needles found in parks.

In 2018 they found 490 discarded needles. In 2019 that number rose to 816 needles.

The sharps boxes are being put at the three locations where the most needles are found.

“When it escalated to the number we were seeing, we knew that we needed to do something about it,” McDevitt says.

She says she hopes that installing the boxes will improve public safety for park users, preventing them from stepping on discarded needles.

The boxes are being installed in partnership with the Monroe County Health Department. They will be providing the sharps boxes for the parks department to use.

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