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Mayor Tim Keller, City Officials Unveil S.H.A.R.P. Program to Clean Up Needles and Syringes

New program cuts down on the number of improperly disposed sharps in public spaces.

July 30, 2018

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller unveiled a plan to clean up improperly disposed needles and syringes around the City. Joined by City and County officials, Mayor Keller explained how the new S.H.A.R.P (Safe Handling and Routing of Paraphernalia) Program is a coordinated effort among several City departments along with Bernalillo County, to cut down on the number of improperly disposed sharps in the City’s public spaces.

“We're fighting crime from all sides to make our communities safer,” stated Mayor Keller. “There's no doubt that our city is facing many challenges related to addiction. One of the signs of those challenges is the improper disposal of needles in public spaces, especially parks. The S.H.A.R.P. Program is one way we can work together to take back our parks and playgrounds. Each time our teams go out, we hope they will have fewer and fewer needles to clean up. That will mean more folks are getting the help they need."

Under this new initiative, eight City departments will coordinate efforts to quickly respond to citizen reports of needles and syringes found in public spaces. When a needle is found, citizens may call 311 or use the City’s new One ABQ app to report its location rather than 911 or a specific department. The app allows people to include a picture of the exact location of the item to help responders quickly locate and dispose of it. Trained City employees will then locate and dispose of the sharp in a safe manner.

The program will also utilize six secure drop boxes donated by the New Mexico Department of Health. These sharps kiosks will be strategically located around the City to allow people to properly dispose of their needles and syringes. At the outset, the kiosks are slated to be placed at:

  • Wilson Park, 6000 Anderson Ave. SE
  • Caravan East, 7605 Central Ave. NE
  • Tower Skate Park, 86th St. and Tower Rd. SW
  • Jack and Jill Park, 433 1/2 Arizona St. SE
  • Coronado Park, 301 McKnight Ave. NW
  • AFR Logistics, 1801 4th NW

Citizens are encouraged to visit the City’s website for more information on how to properly dispose of privately-owned sharps or needles found on private property by visiting https://www.cabq.gov/fire/household-pharmaceutical-disposal. A list of participating public sharps drop-off locations can also be found on the website