Group picking up needles in Winnipeg says they are seeing an increase

A community group that goes around the streets of Winnipeg picking up discarded needles says they have seen an increase this year.

Ed Hendrickson, the CEO of Sharp Surgeons, was out walking in Central Park on Sunday, eyes fixed on the ground looking for sharps. He's been doing it for about two years now – a project which started when his daughter almost sat on a needle at a fast food restaurant in the city.

"We came up with the idea of going around picking needles up on the streets of Winnipeg," he said. "We have no boundaries, we go everywhere."

He said last year the group picked up 140,000 sharps and, so far this year, he said they have picked up about 45,000.

"This is a huge increase," he said, adding bus shelters along Portage Avenue are getting particularly bad.

Hendrickson said people can report needles to the group by calling (431) 688-5530.