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Safe Needle Handling and Disposal

We can all help in keeping our communities safe. Accidental needlestick injuries and possible infections can happen to children, outdoor workers or anyone else who might come in contact with used needles.

Children should never touch a discarded needle, and should be taught to show it to an adult for safe pick-up. Adults can safely pick up a discarded needle by following the steps below.


How to Safely Dispose of Discarded Needles

To safely handle a needle, you will need tongs and a hard plastic container with a screw-top lid, or a Community Clean-Up Kit from your local Porcupine Health Unit office.

Remember to always wash your hands immediately after handling a needle.

Step One

  • Wear gloves.
  • Do not try to put the cap on the needle.
  • Do not snap, break or bend any part of the needle.

Step Two

  • Do not use a glass container.
  • Place the container on a stable surface.
  • Using tongs, grab the syringe (avoid the tip).

Step Three

  • Place the needle into the container, tip first.
  • Seal the container tightly.

Step Four

  • Return the container to your nearest needle disposal location or your local Porcupine Health Unit office.
  • Never throw needles in the garbage, recycling bin, toilet, drain or sewer.

If you get your needles, lancets or syringes from a pharmacy or healthcare provider, talk to them about the best way to dispose of your sharps.