Vancouver Needle Distribution and Recovery Van

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The Neighbourhood Needle Recovery Program recovers discarded needles safely and quickly from Vancouver neighbourhoods.

The Needle Recovery Program recovers needles quickly and safely in several ways, including:

  • supplying needle drop boxes in lanes throughout the Downtown Eastside
  • collecting used needles at exchanges located in eight community health centres across Vancouver at over 40 other community-based locations
  • conducting regular needle sweeps in school grounds and parks, and locations affected by high volumes of discarded needles
  • recording where and how many needles are discarded in public places
  • coordinating needle pick-up with community groups

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I safely deal with a discarded needle?

    1. Don’t touch discarded needles with your bare hands – get the proper equipment

      • sturdy gloves (rubber or leather)
      • tongs or pliers
      • puncture-resistant plastic container
    2. Transfer the needle to the container by using tongs or pliers to pick up the needle and place it in the container
    3. Secure the lid
    4. Wash hands and gloves
    5. Return to any community health centre or call the needle pick-up hotline at (604) 657-6561 for pick-up
  • What do I do if I get struck or pricked by a discarded needle?

    1. Don’t panic
    2. Wash the affected area with soap and water – do not use bleach or alcohol as they will irritate the wound
    3. Allow the pricked area or wound to bleed freely – do not squeeze it
    4. Go to the nearest emergency room for assessment by a doctor

Contact the Needle Recovery Hotline

Phone: (604) 657-6561

Vancouver Coastal Health’s goal is to recover all inappropriately discarded needles as soon as possible or within 24 hours of a call to the hotline.

Other needle pick-up services

City of Richmond Public Works Department

If a needle is found in a public space, please call (604) 270-8721 with as much information as possible about where the needles are and where city staff should look. This 24-hour service treats discarded needles in public spaces as a priority.

Sechelt Straight to the Point clean-up crew

If a needle is found in Sechelt, please call the Straight to the Point clean-up crew: (604) 619-9502.

Powell River Fire Rescue

Within the city limits of Powell River, please call (604) 485-4431. If unable to contact someone, call 911 and ask the fire dispatch for a needle pickup.