If you have cuts, sores, broken skin or skin conditions, you are at a higher risk. Ensure that you wear disposable gloves. Please follow these steps. If you can not, call the Fire Department at 403-264-1022. If you believe this is an emergency, call 9-1-1.
Needles found on the street or in parks are considered biohazardous by Alberta Health Services. These needles may have been discarded by a street level IV drug user, who may carry infectious diseases due to a high risk lifestyle. To ensure diseases are not passed on to people who encounter discarded needles, the Fire Department will dispose of these needles. Call 9-1-1 and a fire truck will retrieve discarded needles for proper disposal.
Home injection needles or self-medicating needles are not considered biohazardous by Health Canada. These needles are used by diabetics and others to treat diseases under the guidance of a doctor. There is currently no bylaw against disposing of these needles in domestic trash pick-up, provided they are placed in a puncture resistent container with a secure lid to protect garbage collectors from injury.
How to properly dispose needles
- Put on disposable gloves.
- Never recap the needle.
- Place the approved puncture proof container on a flat surface near the needle. Open the lid and never hold the container while inserting the needle.
- Using tweezers, pliers or tongs pick up the needle by the plunger (never by the middle of the needle).
- Always hold the needle away from your body.
- Place the needle, sharp end first, into the container.
- Dispose of the tool or disinfect it with a bleach solution (1 part household bleach to 9 parts water) or with another disinfectant solution.
- Dispose of the gloves.
- Thoroughly wash your hands and other exposed skin with liquid soap immediately after step 8.
- Deliver the container to the Fire Department or call 403-264-1022 for pickup.
- Never put needles down toilets, drains or storm sewers.