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Found Sharps and Needles

Sharp objects include used needles, razor blades or any item that could cut skin. Most people who use needles for medication or drugs have safe disposal containers. But sometimes needles are discarded in public spaces. Occasionally someone may come across a discarded needle at a park, beach, or during a community cleanup. It's important that any discarded sharp objects are safely collected and disposed of by an adult. 

Learn where you can dispose of needles in Huron and Perth counties.

If you have been scratched, poked or cut by a discarded sharp object:

  • Let the cut bleed freely
  • Wash the area well with soap and water
  • Apply an antiseptic like rubbing alcohol or peroxide
  • Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible

Sharps cannot be tested for blood-borne disease, so it is not necessary to keep the sharp. An adult can safely collect and dispose of the sharp.

You may be advised to have blood tests or get immunized, depending on the situation. Blood-borne diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C can be spread through blood and blood products. Although low, there is a risk of infection from an accidental needle stick.

Contact the Stratford Police or your Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachment if you aren't comfortable picking up and disposing of a needle yourself.

Only adults should handle sharps; a child should never touch a discarded needle. All sharps must be handled carefully. You can pick up a needle by following these steps:

  • Treat all needles as contaminated. Wear thick rubber gloves. Use a pair of tongs, pliers or tweezers to pick up the needle.
  • Pick up the needle by the plastic end (syringe). Point the needle tip away from your body. Be very careful not to poke yourself with the needle.
  • Do not try to put the cap back on the needle, or to snap, remove or bend needles.

Place the needle point down into a hard plastic container. Do not force the needle into the container. You can also follow these disposal tips:

  • Bleach bottles are good because they have a small opening and a screw-on lid.
  • A thick, plastic peanut butter jar will also work.
  • You shouldn't use a glass jar, which can break, nor light plastic, or milk cartons because needles can easily poke through.
  • Tightly seal the container and label it: “Danger: Used Needles”
  • Take the container to the nearest needle drop-off location. Do not flush needles down the toilet or put them in the garbage or recycling box.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after removal of gloves
  • If a needle stick injury occurs, contact your primary care provider. They will assess the risk of infection and arrange for testing or preventative treatment as necessary.

Contact Us

Huron Perth Public Health

Huron Office
77722B London Road, RR #5, Clinton, ON
N0M 1L0

Perth Office
653 West Gore St., Stratford ON N5A 1L4
Toll-free 1-888-221-2133

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