Operation Red Box
Neighborhood Resident Sees Red over Discarded Needles
Used needles littered Greg Porter’s Near East side neighborhood, causing the daily threat of injury and diseases such as hepatitis, tetanus and HIV to children, trash collectors and residents. Instead of just “watching his step,” Porter did something about it.
He started a project with Columbus Public Health and the Near East Health Advisory Committee, and the neighborhood partnership joined Columbus Fire and Police, the Near East Area Commission, the Mt. Vernon District Improvement Association and the Neighborhood House. Thanks to a Columbus Foundation and a United Way of Central Ohio grant, Operation Red Box was put into action.
Modeled after a project in Baltimore, Maryland in the 1990’s, Operation Red Box provides a safe way to dispose of used needles and lancets to protect people in the community. Located at the intersection of 20th Street and Mt. Vernon Avenue, the box collected more than 8 lbs of syringes in just the first two weeks.