Minneapolis to pay for syringe clean up at homeless encampments

Hoping to clean up discarded needles that could pose health problems for Minneapolis residents, the Minneapolis City Council approved additional funding for homeless encampment syringe cleanup programming.

Unanimously approved by the council on Thursday, the city plans to move $100,000, out of a total of $550,000, in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to dedicate to its clean-up efforts.

According to a background analysis, Minneapolis police and fire departments, as well as community agencies, community members and the City Council have identified a problem of hundreds of used syringes littering Minneapolis streets. The increased presence of syringes reflects an increase in drug use, and littered syringes are a public health hazard to community members – especially to children.

Previously, firefighters, police, community agency workers, citizens, and business owners, conducted syringe removal. However, proper disposal requires training and appropriate tools that are not available to everyone.

Following the transfer of ARPA funding, the Minnesota Department of Health will undertake syringe cleanup efforts throughout Minneapolis