During the summer of 2005, the Four Counties Needle Exchange Coalition, which had been in operation since 1997, reported an increase in the number and severity of complaints of found needles on both public and private properties. The Health Hazards program staff agreed to facilitate consultations with representatives from: the City and County of Peterborough, municipal and provincial police forces, the Four Counties Needle Exchange Coalition, Emergency Medical Services, and the Peterborough County-City Health Unit, with the goal of developing a community-wide protocol for the referral, safe handling, and disposal of found used needles and/or sharps.