Opioid response and resources

We are conducting a syringe drop box pilot program

Syringe Drop Box

What are syringe drop boxes?

Syringe drop boxes are public, easily-identified receptacles used to safely and easily dispose of syringes. Similar boxes that are currently being used by New York, Boston and San Francisco have proven to significantly decrease syringe litter. 

Why is the City of Minneapolis installing syringe drop boxes?

The City of Minneapolis and its residents have identified syringe litter as a concern. Syringe litter creates a public health hazard, risk of injury and spread of disease. Drop boxes have proven to be an effective way to decrease the amount of syringe litter. 

What are the features of the boxes and what do they look like?

The City of Minneapolis partnered with a local woman-owned business to design and manufacture boxes that incorporate the advantages of the boxes currently used in other cities while improving the design to better serve our city. Features of the Minneapolis boxes include:

Read more about the pilot program in the Frequently Asked Questions section below. 

Syringe drop box FAQs

Why is the City using custom syringe drop boxes?

The Minneapolis designed box limits the collection of unwanted trash and secures the interior collection to not endanger the individual servicing the box. Additionally, the syringe design clearly avoids language barriers, identifies the box's purpose and the arrow demonstrates where to insert syringes. 

How will the boxes be emptied? How will we know if they are effective?

A professional biohazard company, Industrial Hygiene Services, will safely empty the drop boxes weekly and report to the City with the data, including the number of syringes collected, frequency of pickup and the ways the boxes are being used. 

How are the syringe drop boxes and their servicing being paid for?

The syringe drop boxes and their servicing are being paid for through a grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials. 

How is the City engaging local community groups?

The Health Department has participated in community events, discussions, stakeholder meetings, and internal and external work groups to inform our opioid work and update community members on our response to the opioid epidemic and train on safe syringe pickup. 

Where will the syringe drop boxes be installed?

The installation of the boxes will begin November 1st and be completed by November 18th. The City is partnering with and coordinating logistics among internal departments, as well as Hennepin County and other partners in the private sector to implement the syringe drop box pilot project. 

The 10 drop box locations will be evaluated for effectiveness and are able to be moved. the proposed pilot locations are: DropBox_Locations

  • 1530 E. Franklin Ave. 
  • Bloomington Ave. and East 25th St. 
  • East Phillips Park
  • Currie Park
  • Franklin Steele Park
  • Peavey Park
  • 1515 East 23rd St. 
  • Native American Community Clinic
  • Midtown Greenway TBD
  • Midtown Greenway TBD





What are syringe collection buckets?

syringe bucket web

In a pilot project complementing the syringe drop boxes, which are for any member of the public to use, the City is providing syringe collection buckets for select businesses and nonprofits to safely collect and dispose of syringes. A professional biohazard company, Industrial Hygiene Services, will provide the buckets, safely empty them every month and report to the City the number of syringes collected. 

The syringe bucket collection project will begin Nov. 11

30 businesses and nonprofits are participating in the pilot. 

How will the syringe bucket pilot program be paid for?

The syringe collection buckets and the service to safely remove and dispose of the bucket contents are paid for by a grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The Mayor has also recommended additional funding in his 2020 budget proposal. The Council will vote on the final approval of the 2020 budget on December 11th, 2019.


Help for people who use syringes

A syringe service program aims to help people who use syringes use them more safely. This helps reduce disease and pathogens such as HIV and viral hepatitis infections that can be spread by sharing needles.

Examples of services

  • HIV and hepatitis C prevention and testing
  • Education about preventing overdoses
  • Education on safer injection practices
  • Naloxone kits and training
  • Sterile syringes at no cost
  • Containers for safe disposal of syringes
  • Referrals to medical, mental and sexual health services
  • Referrals for substance abuse treatment and recovery support


These services help people who use needles by reducing: 

  • Needle stick injuries
  • Drug overdose deaths
  • The spread of HIV and hepatitis
  • The cost of infectious disease treatment

And they make it more likely that people will enter treatment

Local syringe service programs

These organizations provide syringe services to area residents: 

For more information or help connecting with services, find the Minnesota Department of Health opioid dashboard at www.health.state.mn.us/opioiddashboard

Download the syringe services fact sheet

General information & resources

Syringe exchange and disposal and free Narcan/Naloxone

Harm reduction

Pregnancy and use

Rule 25 - chemical use assessments

Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD)

Culturally-specific counseling

Withdrawal management

Inpatient & outpatient recovery

Legal support

Medication & medicine disposal

City of Minneapolis efforts

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Minneapolis Health Department LogoShould you require a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate, or information in an alternative format, please contact 612-673-2301.
Para asistencia 612-673-2700 - Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 - Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.




Should you require a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate, or information in an alternative format, please contact 612-673-2301.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700 - Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 - Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.


Last updated Mar 10, 2020



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Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 

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