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City of Timmins launches pilot sharp collection program


When people find drug litter on public property in Timmins, the city wants them to contact Service Timmins.

Officials said people can call or email and employees from the waste management department will clean it up, part of a pilot project aimed at simplifying how discarded needles and syringes are cleaned up safely.

Since October 2023, city officials said every municipal worker now gets sharp disposal training. As of May 1, public works will carry out collection of drug litter on public property such as parks, roads, streets, sidewalks and boulevards.

“We have dedicated individuals that are out, doing regular road patrols or investigations anyways, and … they will be dispatched to, to collect sharps where they find them,” said Ken Krecel, director of public works and environmental services.

“Council brought it up in 2023 and it was a really important topic for our community, especially because we had nothing in place prior,” said Meagan Baranyk, the city’s community programs manager.

“We had an agency take over (but) it wasn't a right fit, it was an agency that was an emergency shelter and it really does align better with the City of Timmins, taking it over with the waste management.”

For the time being, collection is limited to weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sharps reported over the weekend will be picked up on Monday.

“So the phone number is 264-1331, so that would be the Service Timmins,” Baranyk said.

“But again, a lot of people have access to the Internet so they can put in a service ticket … (and) if you put in a service ticket, your email is there and then you can have that closed door where once the sharp is picked up, you'll be notified.”

Colleen Losier, who owns Beautiful You Aesthetics on Algonquin Boulevard, said she wonders what will happen on commercial properties.

“Every single night for the past several months, we've been having homeless people come behind our building and shoot up drugs and leave their dirty needles just laying around,” Losier said.

“Everywhere in the parking lot behind our building is a cesspool … My husband and my son come out almost on a daily basis -- at least three or four times a week minimum -- to pick up all the needles.”

Her son recently was cut by a needle he didn’t know was stuffed in a newspaper.

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“He was bleeding (and) it was swollen,” she said.

“We went to the hospital.”

Krecel said under the Municipal Act, city employees are not allowed to enter private property, prohibiting them from picking up needles at commercial locations.

City officials said business owners can call Service Timmins to find out where drug litter may be disposed of. Top Stories

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