What to do with discarded needles
Discarded needles are a bio hazard and can cause injury to people who find them. The needle safety program began in response to concerns about these dangers.
We are collaborating with organizations such as Alpha House, Calgary Drop-in & Rehab Centre, and The Alex to effectively respond to community safety concerns.
What to do if you find a needle
If you find a needle and you are comfortable picking it up, you can carefully do so by following these steps:
- You will require gloves, tongs or pliers, and a puncture proof container (pharmacy supplied “sharps” container, bleach or laundry detergent bottle)
- Put on the latex, rubber or leather gloves. Use tongs or pliers to carefully pick up the needle with the tip pointed away from you. The tongs or other tools can be disinfected after use and remain part of a clean-up kit.
- Make sure the puncture proof container (pharmacy supplied “sharps” container, bleach or laundry detergent bottle) is on a stable surface (do not hold it while putting the needle inside) and put the needle, tip down, into the container and tape the lid tightly closed (with duct tape, if you have it). Use a marker to label the container “Needles”.
- Puncture proof containers can be disposed of in one of the following ways:
- Drop off at local pharmacy (confirm your pharmacy accepts needles)
- Sheldon M Chumir Centre – Supervised Consumption Services (1213 4 St SW)
- Put in your garbage bin
If you find a needle and you are not comfortable picking it up:
- Alpha House’s Needle Response Team is available daily either by the response line at 403-796-5334 or email email@example.com between the hours of 7 a.m. - 12 a.m. (midnight). If your phone call is not immediately answered, please leave a voicemail and a member of the Needle Response Team will return your call as soon as they are available.
- Be ready to provide:
- Full address
- A description of where the needle is located
- Your name and call back number
- The number of needles, and any other drug paraphernalia
If you find a needle outside business hours and you are not comfortable picking it up call 9-1-1 or 403-264-1022 for a response from Calgary Fire Department.