Needles and needle debris are a challenging issue for the City of Edmonton, however Edmonton is not alone. Strategies to ensure that individuals and communities are as safe and healthy as possible have been undertaken across the globe.
Needles are used by people with specific health conditions and people with specific addictions. Ensuring that people who use needles can access safe disposal, and that stray needles and needle debris in the community are dealt with promptly and safely is one of the goals of Capital City Clean Up.
Handle Needles Safely
- Never put the cap back on a stray needle
- Use gloves and tongs to pick up the needle
- Place in a hard plastic container, tightly seal, and label "Used Needles"
- Never put needles down the toilet, drain, sewer, or in the garbage
If you are not comfortable picking up the needle and need more information, call
When to Call for Help
- If you are too nervous to pick the needle up
- If you see many needles in a pile, for example, in a stairwell or behind a dumpster
- If you see broken needles scattered on the ground
- If you have no way of taking the needle in a strong container to a safe place
Children should never pick up a needle.
Leave it where it is and call an adult for help.
Choices for Disposing of Needles
Safe Needle Disposal Box
- Pharmacies that accept needles
- Streetworks, a free needle exchange service for injection drug users with 15 sites and a mobile van
- Capital City Clean Up will consider requests for placement of boxes in additional locations based on overall need, historical data collected based on reporting to 311 and public safety issues
- City of Edmonton installs and empties public safe needle disposal boxes
Disposed needles from Streetworks and the needle boxes end up at Swan Hills, Alberta where they are incinerated.
"Nearly 2 million needles are exchanged through Streetworks annually."
Needle Exchange Sites
Boyle McCauley Health Centre
10628 96 Street
780-422-7333 Ext. 1
Boyle Street Community Service
10116 105 Avenue
11111 Jasper Avenue
9702 111 Avenue
"This is a safety issue. It's nothing personal. It doesn't matter if the person is a diabetic or an injection drug user. This is a health concern" ~ Health Professional