Needles in Public Places
What to Do if You Find Needles in the Community
If you have found syringes in the community, call 911 dispatch to report so they can be properly disposed of.
For the City of Santa Cruz, please visit the following web page for more information about Found Hypodermic Needles/Syringes for Pickup.
As of September 1, 2008, it is illegal to discard used sharps in the garbage or recycling, and used sharps must be transported in an approved sharps container.
County ordinance effective October 1, 2014, requires all pharmacies in the unincorporated area of the county to take back sharps from residents at no charge.
Your reference guide to local, free drop-off sites for medicines and sharps in Santa Cruz County. A collaborative program coordinated by the County of Santa Cruz with the Cities of Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Capitola, and Scotts Valley. Find out more here!
See a Needle?
See A Needle? was created by Seattle writer & mom Lauri Watkins, who saw an unmet need for materials to teach children what to do if they found a used hypodermic needle. Based on further research and her own experience, she realized that adults needed more information as well!
SeeANeedle.com is a resource for parents, teachers, community members, and anyone else who needs to teach children what to do if they find a used hypodermic needle - please print and share our materials!
For information about the SSP Program call (831) 454-2437
Public Sharps Disposal Kiosks Santa Cruz County
If you have used syringes that you do not intend to exchange for new ones through the Santa Cruz County Syringe Services Program, you can dispose of them in a disposal kiosk located in one of three locations in Santa Cruz County. The kiosks are bright red and clearly marked. All kiosk locations are outside and can be accessed 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
- Santa Cruz Clinic 1080 Emeline Avenue Santa Cruz, CA 95060
- Watsonville Health Center 9 Crestview Drive Watsonville, CA 95076
- Government Center 701 Ocean Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Water St. side of the 701 Ocean St. County building (it is located near the bus stop right before the Water St. bridge)
Be Smart with Sharps
Submit a Needle Report
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information...
Date, number of needles, location/address (street name and block# will suffice), location type (residential, business, park, beach, river, other), whether a child was present, and the person’s name if it is other than their Facebook name.
Example of a needle report: 01/03/14, 2 needles, 100 block of Walnut, residential, two-year-old daughter was walking with her mother, Susan B. Where your report goes: We update our NIPS (Needles In Public Spaces) Log monthly and send it to Santa Cruz City Council and County Board of Supervisors.
We highly encourage people to photograph their needle finds. If you have photographs, please provide them and we will link them to your report number.