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Boston’s Syringe Buy-Back Program Collects 580,000 Needles

Boston’s Syringe Buy-Back Program Collects 580,000 Needles

A new program in Boston has collected more than 580,000 used syringes since its launch in December 2020.

“When we started, we had hoped to collect 1,000 needles a week,” says Allie Hunter, co-founder of Addiction Response Resources. “And we collect an average of about 17,000 a week, and last week we collected 30,000.”

Unlike other sharps collection programs in the city, Addiction Response Resources offers cash for syringes. Participants, who must sign up and give their names, earn 20 cents per syringe with a maximum of $10 per day.

“People are really creative and resourceful,” says Hunter. “It’s usually a combination of their needles and needles they collect, so it’s been really positive.”

Used syringes have been a major health issue in Boston for years, but locals say the problem worsened during the pandemic.

Since the launch of Hunter’s program, emergency calls regarding used syringes have dropped by nearly 50%.

“It’s certainly keeping the area cleaner,” says Devin Larkin, director of the Recovery Services Bureau of the Boston Public Health Commission. “People are taking more ownership of this issue in the neighborhood, which I love to see. When you see a syringe on the ground, somebody picks it up almost right away.”

Addiction Response Resources is not advertised in Boston and functions entirely on word of mouth. The program is based out of a trailer parked on Atkinson Street near a local addiction help center.

Due to its success in collecting more used syringes than any other program in the city, Addiction Response Resources received $388,000 from the city to operate through 2022.

Addiction Response Resources also provides participants with naloxone (a drug that can prevent death in the case of opioid overdose) and referrals for help with mental health issues and drug abuse.


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  1. Andy

    What a wonderful program, so happy to see something like this in Boston!

  2. Glenn S

    Oh yay! We have so many junkies littering up our streets that our yet-another-stupid program is a SMASHING SUCCESS! In 35 years in Dallas TX I’ve seen exactly 1 stray syringe. Keep your stupid liberal programs AND your stupid liberal-supported waste of human life

  3. Joseph S. Bruder

    What, no commentary on the breakdown of society? Not blaming Joe Biden for something? Nothing to fan the flames of Trump supporters? No “Editor’s note” with some conservative talking points? Bravo! Maybe next time you can do some original research and write your own article! Does old Joe Gilbertson pay you full rate for stories you copy from another source? I know, it could be a new easy source of income for you…

    • Dan Tyree

      The commiecrats has greatly contributed to the drug problem in America. There joe. Are you happy now? You should be ecstatic. You share your name with a world famous retard. Wow!!! Just last year we were energy independent for the first time in decades. We even exported energy. Now we’re stuck with an old fool who has no energy and can’t even get his token vp to cooperate. She’s just circling like a vulture waiting for joe to croak or get slapped with the 25th amendment. That amendment should be used to deport every damned commiecrat in America