A SafeLink Alberta employee bends down to pick up hazardous debris using tongs and hard plastic receptacle. Text reads: "Medicine Hat Needle Debris Response Program."

Medicine Hat Needle Debris Response Program

Alisha OstbergBlog

Our Medicine Hat office has a Needle Debris Response Program. We will come and pick up needles or other substance use debris. This program is in operation Monday to Friday from 8:30-4:30 (excluding statutory holidays). Our Needle Debris Response Program can be reached at (403) 866-4698 or via email medicinehat@safelinkalberta.ca. In your message, please give us as specific a description of the location as possible to help our staff locate the debris. We will pick up the debris at the earliest availability (the same business day at minimum).  

What do we collect? 

  • Needles 
  • Glass pipes 
  • Other substance use equipment 

We also offer biohazard containers at no cost to community members, local businesses and organizations, as well as wall-mount containers if desired. The most common places for installation are bathrooms and alleyways. The wall-mount containers have a locking mechanism to deter theft. We provide wall-mount, key, and inserts, and can remove full containers for safe disposal as needed and offer replacement containers.  

We provide many different sizes of biohazard containers, and full containers can be dropped off at our site for safe disposal through incineration.  

It is best practice to assume that all substance use equipment is contaminated and therefore be sure to handle it with the appropriate PPE (gloves and tongs).  While all substance use equipment can go into a biohazard container, it does not all need to go into the biohazard container.  

What needs to go in a biohazard container: 

  • Needles 
  • Glass pipes 
  • Other sharps 
  • Used cookers 
  • Foil 

Things you can dispose of in the garbage: 

  • Other substance use equipment (sterile waters, alcohol swabs, and tourniquets) 
  • Naloxone kits (used or unused if you are not sure if it has been compromised, however the needles should be disposed of in a biohazard container) 

If you are unsure, a biohazard container is the best option.  

SafeLink Alberta will only dispose of substance use debris. This does not include vape cartridges, other cannabis equipment or garbage. The Needle Debris Response Program focuses on public property only – staff can provide anyone with biohazard containers and education related to safe disposal for debris located on private property. Our Universal Precautions 101 training can be offered online or in person. Please refer to our Training Section at https://safelinkalberta.ca/training-resources/.