Be Smart with Sharps

Research and recommendations for a safe sharp disposal education campaign.




Business + Nursing


MKTG 4418 + NURS 5030


  • Tom Jopling
  • Karla Green

City of Vancouver:

  • Tobin Postma | Strategic Initiatives

Student Team:

  • Kenton Duncan | Business
  • Simran Garg | Business
  • Tiffany Chiu | Business
  • Jennifer Rubben | Nursing


  • Healthy City Strategy

Community Partners:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Special thanks to Chris VanVeen, Kim Murphy and Munroe Craig.


The Safe Sharp Disposal and Education Project (Be Smart with Sharps) is a joint, interprofessional applied program (IAP) between BCIT Business and Nursing students. The two teams worked together to uncover solutions regarding safe sharp disposal and education in Vancouver. The students collaborated with both the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) on this project.

For the project, students conducted and analyzed three phases of secondary, qualitative and quantitative research to support the creation of an effective communication plan aimed at educating individuals on sharps disposal and equip them with safe practices.

Secondary research was conducted to identify critical influences of the stigma around discarded sharps, the level of risk to the general public, and both past and current sharps disposal initiatives from the City of Vancouver and other cities, as well as public opinions from non-intravenous drug users (IVDU) about discarded sharps and IVDUs. There were seventeen interviews of industry professionals within the health, legal and political sectors, and those with lived experienced. These interviews provided insight into discarded sharps and the recommendations such as methods to reduce the stigma around discarded sharps, ways to reduce the number of discarded sharps, communication tactics, and what services or materials their organizations can provide to stakeholders regarding discarded sharps.

In the last phase, an online survey was conducted to gather quantifiable data regarding Safe Sharps Disposal, preferred communication, and satisfaction with CoV and VCH initiatives. The survey had 251 participants from individuals across the Lower Mainland. The survey was released to the researchers, stakeholders, and BCIT faculty network, resulting in a non-probability sample. At the end of the research phase, the research findings were used to compose recommendations. In addition to the research report, the BCIT Business and Nursing students used their partnership to create a Safe Sharp Disposal Educational Plan.

Read more about the early project process and final presentation

{{ reviewsTotal }}{{ options.labels.singularReviewCountLabel }}
{{ reviewsTotal }}{{ options.labels.pluralReviewCountLabel }}
{{ options.labels.newReviewButton }}
{{ userData.canReview.message }}

Related projects

Stepping Up: Enhancing Urban Mobility, Health, and Inclusion Through Sidewalk Investment in the City of Vancouver


"Functional, well-maintained sidewalks are a crucial component of our communities. In Vancouver, the...

PDS Data Optimization by AI


Our application automates by-law and regulation amendments by downloading relevant files, indexing them...

The State of the Marine Foreshore Habitat of The Wild Mile


We conducted a biodiversity survey on a section of The Wild Mile beach...