The City of Red Deer is calling on the province to help deal with needle debris as a result of harm-reduction measures such as the Overdose Prevention Site.

According to the city, in the past nine months around 3,900 needles have been cleaned up from downtown Red Deer.

“The City of Red Deer’s request was the province review their needle distribution protocols to help minimize the proliferation of needles in our community and then for additional provincial financial support, helping with the clean-up,” said Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer.

“We recognize that the province and it’s agencies distribute needles as part of their harm reduction efforts but we are deeply concerned about the public health and safety impacts of having contaminated needles discarded around the community.”

The idea was brought forward with support from the City of Lethbridge at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association conference in Edmonton last week.

“Every single community is faced with similar challenges. [The needle debris was] of particular concern because Red Deer and Lethbridge have seen the most changes in recent years,” said Veer.

The AUMA supported the resolution.