What To Do if You Find a Needle

What To Do if You Find a Needle, Syringe or Mouthpiece

Unfortunately, sometimes you might come across a discarded needle, syringe, glass stem, plastic mouth piece or another sharp object on the ground. If this happens and you decide to dispose of this material yourself there are certain steps that should be taken. The risks in doing this are small; however, these steps should be followed to decrease the risks as much as possible.

needle in grass

Remember to teach children NEVER to touch needles, syringes, or sharp objects and to tell an adult right away when they find one

When disposing of a needle:

  1. Find a non-breakable, puncture-proof container (i.e. peanut butter container).
  2. Place the container beside the location of the needle on a stable surface.
  3. Put on disposable gloves if you have them.
  4. Never recap the needle. Recapping a needle is one of the most frequent causes of needle injuries.
  5. Use tweezers, pliers or tongs to pick up the needle. Be sure to pick it up by the plastic portion of the syringe. 
  6. Hold the needle away from you when you pick it up, ensuring that you have a firm grip. 
  7. Place the needle inside the plastic container (sharp end first) and secure the lid.
  8. Remove gloves and wash your hands thoroughly.
  9. Never flush needles down the toilet, drop in a sewer grate or put in the garbage or recycling box.
  10. Dispose of the container at a needle drop-off location, including Southwestern Public Health or participating pharmacies in Oxford County and Elgin St. Thomas


For More Information:

How to Guide: Safe Handling and Disposal of Sharps



For more information contact