needle debris pick up

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 important to Turning Point.

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 and tightly seal it.  A sharps container is an ideal container, but if you do not have one, you can use a bleach bottle or pop bottle.
  • Tightly close the lid and bring it to us.
  • Never put needles down the toilet, drain or in the sewer.


If you have no way of taking the needle in a strong container to a safe place or if you are not comfortable picking up the needle and need more information, call the City of Red Deer 24 hour response number: 403-342-8238.  For outside of Red Deer please contact your municipality or local police non emergency phone number.

If you are in the downtown area you can call Turning Point’s main office for advise and support (Monday-Friday 9am-4:30PM ) or Nightreach will also respond in the evenings call or text (403) 896-3879.

if you get pricked by a needle:

  • Ensure the wound bleeds as much as possible
  • Flush the injured area with flowing water
  • Wash the wound well with soap and warm water
  • Go to the Hospital Emergency Room and they will assess the risk of infection and recommend appropriate treatment

In Red Deer there are three organizations that actively clean up needle and other drug debris.  In addition to Turning Point, the Downtown Business Association (DBA) and the City of Red Deer do debris clean up.  The DBA’s Clean Team works in the parks in the downtown and the lead City Department on needle debris clean up is Public Works.  Each has limits to their capacity but we work collaboratively to ensure that where possible debris is cleaned up in a timely way.

Turning Point contributed to the creation of a Needle Debris Pick-up & Disposal tool which may be helpful to post in your organization.


more information…

For more information you can contact us or the great folks at CATIE have written Best Practice Recommendations for Canadian Harm Reduction Programs and there is a section on disposal and handling of used drug use equipment that you might find valueable.