Operation Red Box

Syringe Disposal Boxes are a part of a project to safely dispose of used needles and lancets so that people in the community are protected from them.

Used needles can be placed in the Syringe Disposal Box any time of day or night, free and anonymously. It is not meant to take a large amount of needles all at once and not meant to be a replacement for medical facilities to discard medical syringe waste.  These are meant for the use of the general public to safely dispose of needles.

Why do we need this?
Used needles can injure people and spread diseases like hepatitis, tetanus and HIV.  If used needles are left on the ground or loose in the trash, children, trash collectors and others can be hurt or exposed to disease. 

Where are the boxes located?
We have multiple locations around Columbus.  The boxes that are currently installed are located:

North Columbus
1) Franklin County JFS (Northland Opportunity Center), 1721 Northland Avenue, Columbus, OH, 43229
2) Columbus Fire Station #18, 1630 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, OH  43211

Near East Side 
3) Franklin County JFS, (Near East Opportunity Center), 1055 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Columbus, OH 43203

Central Columbus
4) Equitas Health, 1033 North High Street, Columbus, OH  43201
5) Columbus Public Health (next to rear entrance of the building), 240 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, OH  43215

South Columbus
6) John Maloney Center (on the Barthman Ave side of the building), 1905 Parsons Ave, Columbus, OH  43207 
7) Corpus Christi Church, 1111 Stewart Avenue, Columbus, OH  43206

West Columbus
8) Hilltop Library Branch (on the Powell Avenue side of the library), 511 S. Hague Ave 
9) Columbus Fire Station #17, 2250 W. Broad Street, Columbus, OH  43204
10) Netcare Access, 199 S. Central Avenue, Columbus, OH  43223
11) Dodge Recreation Center, 667 Sullivant Avenue, Columbus, OH  43222

Safe Disposal of Needles at Home
One of the goals of the syringe disposal plan is to educate people on how to safely dispose of needles they use at home, such as insulin needles or lancets.  Syringes can be disposed of in your trash as long as they are placed within a strong plastic container (like a bleach jug- not a milk jug) that is closed and labeled on the outside SYRINGES ENCLOSED.

If you find needles outside
Please call the City of Columbus 311 number (dial 311 or 645-3111) and report them.  Depending on the location the service will route the call to the appropriate place to address them.

More Information
For more information about this community project, call (614) 724-2033.

Need Help
If you or someone you know needs help with drug use (substance use disorders), please call Columbus Public Health at (614) 645-6839.