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Safe Needle Disposal

Needles can be brought in to the Northwestern Health Unit. Some pharmacies may take them, call ahead to find out.

The Northwestern Healthy Unit provides Safe Needle Pickup Kits for people to use in case they find a needle. Call your local NWHU office to get a kit.

Follow these steps for safe needle pick up:
  • Wear gloves before handling any drug injection equipment or used condoms.
  • Always use a hard sided plastic container for needles.
  • Use long-handled tongs to pick up the needle with the point facing down. Keep the needle away from you.
  • Place the used needle, point end first, in the container.
  • When everything has been picked up, put the lid on the container and tape it shut.
  • Wash your hands or clean with a hand sanitizer.
  • Bring the container and its contents to your health unit. 

What to do if there is a needle stick injury
A needle stick injury happens when a person's skin is pierced or stabbed with a needle (or other sharp object). This injury may put a person in contact with blood or other body fluids from another person. It is important to follow these steps if get a needle stick injury:

  • Let the wound bleed.
  • Wash the wound out with soap and water.
  • Go to the emergency department immediately.
  • If a needle stick injury occurred at work, report the injury to your Occupational Health and Safety Committee and fill out the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board paperwork.

If you are unsure or uncomfortable with picking up a needle, call your local health unit for help. 

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Public Health Question
  • Q:
    Where can I find the most up to date information for public beach closures?
    The NWHU monitors the bacteria levels in beach water to determine if they are safe for swimming. For information on beach closures in our region, click here.