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Needles & Sharps

Needles and Sharps

Discarded hypodermic needles have become a growing concern in Saskatoon. Too often they are found in parks, near playgrounds, and schools. The fear is that someone could be accidentally stuck by a needle infected with HIV, AIDS or Hepatitis. In 1998, Saskatoon Fire Department and Public Health Services Saskatoon jointly launched a needle pick-up program. 

If you find a needle 

Follow the steps below for safe pick-up and disposal. 

  • Do not recap the needle. 
  • Wear garden, work or medical gloves. 
  • Use tweezers, pliers or tongs to pick up by the end that is not the sharp end.  Keep away from your body. 
  • Place the needle, sharp end first, into a hard container that needles cannot poke through (e.g. liquid laundry detergent or bleach container). 
  • Fill a container no more than 3/4 full. If a container is too full, the needles may poke through the side. 
  • Put the container lid on tightly and tape it. 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water. 
  • Store the container in a safe place away from children until you can dispose of it safely.  
  • Do not place needles in city garbage or recycling. 
  • Place in a needle drop box in your community. Call 306-655-4444 for needle drop box locations. 

If you are not comfortable handling or disposing of a needle on public property, call:

Educate children about finding needles 

Ensure children understand they should never pick up needles. If they find a discarded needle, they should notify an adult immediately. 

If you suffer a needle stick injury 

  • Encourage bleeding immediately and place the wound under running tap water to flush it out. 
  • Do not suck on the wound even if water is not available. 
  • Take careful note of the characteristics of the needle and injury (size, type, depth of penetration). 
  • Do not recap the needle. 
  • Contact your doctor or hospital emergency department as soon as possible. 
  • Package the needle in a hard-surfaced, enclosed container and take it to the emergency department with you.