Safe needle disposal
There are over 36 needle collection boxes located in outdoor public washrooms, public spaces and parks throughout Kelowna.
- View locations of needle collection boxes in our interactive Parks map. Look for "Sharps Box Containers" in the map legend.
- Report a damaged or missing needle collection box by making an online service request
- Report a discarded needle by calling the non-emergency Fire Department, if you aren’t comfortable following the steps below. Select “needle collection” to report the location of the needle, including the street address. If safe to do so, staff will collect the needle or advise of safe options for disposal. Please note: this needle collection line is only for public spaces or outside private residences and doesn’t include pick-up from inside or outside private or commercial properties.
Park Services staff has the ability to install a safe needle disposal box in the park/area where it’s warranted. While some people believe needle collection boxes condones illegal drug use, it has proven to be a successful measure in keeping drug paraphernalia off the ground. Our volunteers use metal detectors to locate sharps or other drug paraphernalia in covered areas and beaches.
Safely disposing of a needle
If you’re comfortable safely picking up and disposing of a needle found in a public space or outside your home, please follow the steps below, which are also on Interior Health’s website. We understand that finding improperly disposed needles can cause anxiety, but it’s important to know that Interior Health indicates that the risk of getting sick from a needle is extremely low.
Please don’t place needles in the garbage or recycling.
Steps to safely dispose of a needle
Find a rigid plastic container with a secure lid, like a plastic drink bottle with a wide mouth. Remove the lid and place the container on the ground beside the needle.
Carefully pick up the needle by the centre of the syringe barrel. Always point the sharp end of the needle down and away from you. Put the needle in the container with the sharp-end first and secure the lid. Don’t break, or try to recap the needle. Wear gloves, or use tongs, if they’re available.
Remove your gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
Drop off the sealed container to a local health unit:
- Living Positive Resource Centre, 255 Lawrence Ave. (Monday-Friday, 2-4 p.m. for public drop-off)
- Outreach Urban Health Centre, 455 Leon Ave. (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for public drop-off)
- Kelowna Community Health Centre, 505 Doyle Ave., second floor (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for public drop-off)
- Rutland Community Health Centre, 155 Grey Rd. (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to Noon and 1-4:30 p.m. for public drop-off)
Needle disposal boxes that accommodate small personal sharps container or small closed plastic containers can be found at the following locations:
- Kelowna RCMP Detachment, 1190 Richter St.
- Outreach Urban Health Centre, 455 Leon Ave
- Rutland Community Policing Office, 115 McInstosh Rd.