LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Have you seen them yet? We are talking about those big red kiosks that look like mailboxes? Well, the Louisville Department of Health and Wellness used grant money to purchase three of these boxes, which are for collecting used needles.
Takeisha Nunez, from the Syringe Exchange Program at the Health Department, had this to say about the kiosk, "We know from talking to our participants that people want to be responsible and they want to have other options, so this is just another good option for them."
We decided to take a look at the first one on the streets with organizers to learn more about their mission.
You will see the first one on the corner of Brook Street and Jacob under the overpass. This is just one of three syringe kiosks, but the only one already in use. Two more are still at the health department.
They're secured with a lock and have a bin on the inside to collect the used syringes. The disposal door has a block so you can't reach back in.
Matthew Darling, from the Kentuckiana Aids Alliance, hopes the convenience of the kiosks will reduce disease spread.
"There's a safe way we can dispose of syringes and that equates to lowering the HIV transmission. We know HIV is not casually transmitted, but one way that you can contract HIV is by sharing needles."
Because the kiosks are new, they haven't collected the needles out of them yet, so we aren't sure how many needles have been deposited in the last few weeks. But, we're going to update this story once they collect the first batch of needles and we'll let you know what they get.
The mayor's office had this to say:
"The Mayor appreciates that the Kentucky Aids Alliance provided funding for the Community Sharps Disposal Kiosk, which is a great tool to reduce the public health risks created by improper disposal of used syringes and keep them off our streets, sidewalks and greenspaces.”