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Needle exchange & disposal

We provide needle exchange services for anyone wanting to dispose of used needles in a safe and legal way. We also provide clean needles, sterile water, alcohol wipes and health information to encourage safer injecting practices. 

The goals of our needle exchange services are to reduce the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C and other diseases. Needle exchange services also reduce the number of discarded needles in public and the incidence of needle-stick injuries. 

If you see a used needle/syringe, here’s how to safely dispose of it:

  1. Don’t touch the needle with your bare hands – get the proper equipment: rubber or leather gloves, tongs or pliers, puncture-resistant plastic container.

  2. Transfer the needle to the container. Using tongs or pliers pick up the needle and place it in the container.

  3. Secure the lid on the container.

  4. Wash your hands and gloves.

  5. Return to any community health centre.

The Mobile Needle Exchange 

If you see a used needle/syringe in Vancouver, please call the hotline at (604) 657-6561 or email needlevan@phs.ca. Staff will go to the area, and safely collect and dispose of the needle. 

Within the city limits of Powell River, Powell River Fire Rescue will pick up any needles that are found – please call (604) 485-4431, if unable to contact someone call 911 ask for fire dispatch for a needle pickup. 

Needle exchange services

Find a Public Health Unit near you for needle exchange services. 

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