If you observe a syringe in a public place or on private property, you will undoubtedly want to see it removed. This type of situation, often encountered in urban environments, requires careful action. Please follow these guidelines for the safe disposal of syringes.
Because syringes always pose a danger, precautions must be taken when handling them. Remember, a soiled syringe constitutes biomedical waste. If you observe a syringe on public property, we can collect it.
What to do if you find a syringe
On public spaces
If you find a syringe in a park, alley, sidewalk or vacant lot, call 311. We will pick it up.
If you decide to remove it yourself
- Wear gloves.
- Place a metal or plastic container on a flat surface near the syringe. The container must have a cover and must be resistant to perforation.
- Pick up the syringe with tweezers and keep the needle end away from your body. Never try to place the cap back on the needle.
- Place the syringe in the container and firmly close the cover.
- Wash your hands as soon as possible.
- Bring the container to a syringe recovery site. Do not place the container in a recycling bin or in a garbage can.
Syringe recovery sites
Most CLSCs and pharmacies will accept your container. For details on recovery site locations, please contact 811.
On private property, accessible or not to the public
If you observe a syringe in a daycare yard or a schoolyard, or in a restaurant washroom, please inform the person in charge immediately. The person who operates the establishment must dispose of the syringe in compliance with the proper collection protocol.
In all cases, syringes must be disposed of in compliance with the recommended precautions.