'Sharp'-eyed new safety group scouring Winnipeg streets to clean up used needles

A new group is hitting Winnipeg streets to pick up used needles.

Ed Hendrickson, CEO of Sharp Surgeons, told 680 CJOB his organization hasn’t been active for long, but in a short time, they’ve been able to make a significant impact.

“We go around the city of Winnipeg collecting dirty sharps off the street,” he said. “We’ve been going about three months now.

“In three months, we’ve collected almost 10,000 sharps off the streets of central Winnipeg.”

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Hendrickson said the three-person team does the volunteer work out of love for the city and a concern for the safety of their fellow residents. Unlike higher-profile groups – like the Bear Clan Patrol – who do similar work, Hendrickson’s group is focused solely on used needles.

“We’re all about safety. Safety is the number one issue. We’re really concerned about the well-being of people,”

“There’s so many sharps on the streets, on the boulevards, in garbage cans. They’re everywhere.”

Hendrickson is also a proponent of safe consumption sites for Winnipeg. He said he briefly lived in Vancouver’s notorious East Hastings district, where he saw the impact safe-needle sites can make first-hand.

“I was really amazed at what the users do with their sharps,” he said.

“They actually get up and put them in the drop boxes. So why would they not work here?”

While Sharp Surgeons is still new on the scene, Hendrickson said the small team is always looking for new people to help keep the city’s streets safe from used needles.

Anyone interested is asked to call Hendrickson on his cell at 431-688-5530.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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