Nonprofit hopes needle collection makes area safer for all

Posted at 9:55 AM, Dec 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-03 11:55:38-05

Click here for updates on this story

    Asheville, NC (WLOS) — A local nonprofit takes steps to make the community safer, while addressing the stigma of drug addiction.

The Steady Collective made its fourth trip to collect discarded needles Sunday.

This pick-up was different.

It started with a conversation, a check-in of sorts, to check out the proper way to perform the day’s job.

A group then set out along Tunnel Road to dispose of needles, also known as “sharps” and “caps.”

Once they were off, it didn’t take long for the volunteers to start finding what they were looking for.

The Tunnel Road pick-up is a departure from West Asheville, where the last three clean-ups took place, and where the Steady Collective’s needle exchange program is based.

“It was a recommendation from someone who is a participant of our program, that this was an area where there was high usage, and likely high litter, and so we selected this area,” said the Steadt Collective’s Jody Escaravage.

The proof was in what volunteers like Escaravage collected, in less than an hour.

“The common misconception is that a syringe exchange program will lead to more needle litter near the program, and in fact it’s the opposite,” Escaravage said. “It’s much less near the syringe exchange location than there is farther away, and this just seems like evidence of that phenomenon.”

The information gathered will ultimately be presented to city leaders, with the goal of producing positive change: safety for all, including those that use.

Escaravage says that’s what being a part of a community is all about.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.