Pubdate: Fri, 06 Jan 2006
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 The London Free Press
Author: John Miner, Free Press Health Reporter


The city's library board had both supporters and detractors yesterday
for installing needle disposal bins in its public washrooms at the
Central Library in Galleria London.

"It is pretty gross," Mike Alexander said as he exited the main
entrance of the library onto Dundas Street. "Someone could rip it off
the wall and there could be needles all over the place."

The library installed the units for used needles and syringes in the
men's washrooms in December. Library chief executive Anne Becker has
said the decision was made because staff were finding needles plugging
toilets, on floors and in sanitary napkin disposals.

While Becker said Wednesday the library isn't encouraging drug use
there, library user Louis Dillon said yesterday he's afraid the
disposal units could act as a magnet for drug addicts.

"I know there is a public health issue, but I don't think the public
library is the place for this. There are too many children," Dillon

John Parlow said the library is simply dealing with

"I think it is good. If you can't fix the problem, you might as well
create a safe environment for people," he said.

Heather Merrifield agreed.

"There must be a need for this, but I didn't realize this was
happening. It is a good idea."

"It's better than needles . . . all over the streets," said Ed

"If anyone was to pick them up, they are going to catch whatever is on
them. With all the diseases around, you don't know what you would get."

But Marianne Ohrt said she opposes the disposal units and fears they
could be a source of disease.

"There are lots of bacteria with those needles," she said. Library
officials couldn't be reached for comment yesterday.
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