Now that Ottawa residents are enjoying parks and outdoors spaces, Ottawa Public Health (OPH), along with numerous City and community partners, would like to remind you of the variety of measures in place to provide safe options for disposing of drug paraphernalia and addressing items that have been improperly discarded on both public and private settings. 

Safe Handling and Disposal of Needles  

OPH works along with numerous City and community partners on a variety of measures to provide safer options for disposing of discarded needles and drug paraphernalia: 

  1. The Needle Hunters: Daily crews patrol the communities of Lowertown, Sandy Hill, Centertown, Somerset West, Hintonburg, Carlington, ByWard Market and Vanier to retrieve needles discarded in public spaces. These routes are reviewed regularly and are adjusted based on discarded needle historical data and community input.  
  2. City of Ottawa Staff: With the coordinated support of several City departments, City staff respond to requests for needle retrieval on public property anywhere in the City with a priority response. 
  3. Needle drop boxes: With over 80 24/7 publicly accessible locations across the city, needle drop boxes make disposing of needles easy and safe.
  4. Harm Reduction Services and Partner Agencies: Approximately 30 agencies across the city are available to collect needles and other drug paraphernalia. 
  5. Household Hazardous Waste Depots: These depots host multiple events throughout the year to collect all kinds of waste that cannot be collected in the regular waste stream, including medical sharps, and drug paraphernalia.
If you find a discarded needle or other drug paraphernalia on public property,

You have two options for safe disposal:

  1. Call 311 to dispatch City staff to retrieve the item(s), or
  2. Dispose of the item(s) yourself in a needle drop box,
Sharps Kit Pilot Program (New!) 

Note: This program is in a pilot phase and will be evaluated in the fall of 2024 to determine how well the program was received and utilized. 

In response to community feedback, OPH has launched the Sharps Kit Pilot Program which supports residents who need to retrieve and dispose of improperly discarded needles on private property as well as residents and business owners who are going above-and-beyond by retrieving discarded drug paraphernalia in the community.

Sharps Kits contain instructions on the safe retrieval and disposal of needles, tongs, a sharps container, gloves, and sterile swabs.  Sharps Kits are now available from participating locations at no cost. 

How do community residents access a Sharps Kit? 

If you are a resident or business owner in Carlington, you can obtain Sharps Kits at the Carlington Community Health Centre at 900 Merivale Road.   

Please feel free to recommend the Sharps Kit Program — the OPH website has the above information and more, such as: participating locations, Sharps Kit contents, safe handling and disposal instructions, map of Needle Drop Boxes (for needle disposal)  as well as what to do in the case of a needle stick injury.

If you have questions about the Sharps Kits Pilot Program, please reach out to:  

For more information on the City’s integrated strategy to collect discarded needles in our communities, please visit: Discarded Needles in Our Communities – Ottawa Public Health