People use needles for many different reasons. They are many medical conditions that involve using needles at home. Diabetes is the most common. Some people inject drugs because they have an addiction. Everyone who uses needles has the same need to get rid of their needles safely. With safe disposal, no one gets hurt accidentally.
The Capital City Cleanup program with the City of Edmonton is responsible for safe needle collection and disposal from public property. Our focus is on enhancing community safety by providing a safe and reliable way to dispose of needles and needle debris. Our goal, in collaboration with our community partners, is to keep our streets, parks and playgrounds clean and safe for everyone.
If you see a needle, call 311 or use the 311 app.
When reporting a needle using the 311 App, your ticket will show as being ‘closed’. This means needle pick up has been scheduled.
If the needle is on public property, we will coordinate pick-up and disposal.
If the needle is on private property, we will provide you with the information you need to pick-up and dispose of the needle safely.
To help you safely handle and dispose of needles, follow these three steps:
- Pick-up needle(s), pointing away from your body, with tongs or thick gloves
- Place needle(s) in a metal or hard plastic, sealed container and label it ‘used needles’
- Wash hands with soap and warm water
Where Do I Dispose Of The Needle(s)?
There are a number of options available to dispose of a needle(s) safely. See our interactive map that shows the locations of needle boxes and eco stations.
For injection drug users, Streetworks provides a free needle exchange service.
Although it’s always important to be careful, there is minimal risk in picking up a used needle. The risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis from an accidental needle stick is very low. Most viruses become inactive after being exposed to the air. The vast majority of people will not get sick by picking up or getting poked by a needle. If you need more detailed information, please visit myhealth.alberta.ca/needlesafety.