Algoma Public Health

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Safe disposal of needles found on the ground

Fri, May 04, 2018


Spring has arrived and Algoma Public Health (APH) and the City of Sault Ste. Marie would like to remind residents to be careful if they come across needles on the ground.

For the most part, people who use needles take steps to dispose of them properly. If needles are found on public property, residents may call Public Works at 705-759-5201 to arrange for pickup and proper disposal by City staff.

“Sharps (needles) may pose a risk of physical harm or serious bloodborne infections if handled inappropriately, said Jon Bouma, manager of Infectious Diseases at Algoma Public Health. “It is important to pick up and dispose of them properly.”

“If you find a needle on your property, use a pair of tongs, pliers or tweezers to pick up the needle with the needle pointing down and away from you. Place the needle in a hard plastic container, like a coffee container or water bottle that you can close tightly.”

These containers can be dropped off at the Household Hazardous Waste Depot located at the landfill site on Fifth Line.

In addition, they can be dropped off at a needle drop bin located outside the John Howard Society or on the corner of Gore/Albert Street. Three more needle drop bins will be installed in the city in the coming weeks. One will be located at Algoma Public Health (294 Willow Avenue) with 2 more installed in the city (locations yet to be determined).

These bins help with safe needle disposal, divert sharps away from the City landfill site and help protect Public Works staff who collect garbage.

Algoma Public Health also runs a needle exchange program that helps to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. The program is available Monday to Friday from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the John Howard Society located at 27 King St.