San Francisco leaders on Tuesday will mull extending a needle exchange program as criticism continues regarding syringes being left behind on city streets.
The board of supervisors is expected to support an extension of the needle exchange program with the AIDS Foundation. The extension would last seven years, costing roughly $26 million.
According to the San Francisco Examiner, efforts to pick up used needles are on the rise. Last summer, the city launched a syringe pick-up team that ended up collecting over 90,000 syringes in its first six months on the job. The crew operates seven days a week, responding to calls and texts from residents.
Based on 2017 data, the AIDS Foundation and partner organizations distributed more than 5 million syringes and collected around 3 million in return, marking a 62% return rate. At least one board member would like to see that return rate increase.
If the board approves the extension, it would last through 2026.