Safe needle disposal

Learn how to report used needles on public property and how to safely discard needles in disposal bins.

Request needle pick up

If you find a needle in a park, trail or other public space, contact us at 519-886-1550 (during business hours) or We will coordinate pick up and disposal.

Discarding used needles

To safely discard a used needle yourself:

  1. Wear latex, rubber or leather gardening gloves. Gloves are meant to protect against fluid contamination, not punctures or cuts.
  2. Use tongs, pliers or tweezers to pick up the needle. Be sure to clean and disinfect the pickup instrument afterwards.
  3. Pick up the needle by the plastic end (syringe). Do not try to recap used needles.
  4. Point the needle tip away from your body. Be very careful not to poke yourself with the needle.
  5. Put the sharps disposal container on a stable surface next to the needle. Do not hold the container in your hand while placing the needle inside.
  6. Place the needle point down into the container. Do not force the needle into the container.
  7. If you do not have a specialized sharps container, put the needle into a non-breakable, puncture-proof container with a lid, such as a thick plastic bottle or tin can.
  8. Close the container securely.
  9. Find the nearest needle disposal location (see below). Do not flush needles down the toilet or put them in the garbage or recycling box.
  10. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after removal of gloves.

Needle disposal bins

Needles can be dropped off at these outdoor locations at any time:

Consumption and harm reduction services

Consumption and treatment and harm reduction services are run by the Region of Waterloo.