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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 Health 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.


If you find a discarded needle, don’t panic.

Needles can be picked up safely. By picking up a needle you find on the ground, you are helping to keep your community clean and safe.

Steps to Safe Pick-up:

  • Put on gloves if you have some.
  • Use a hard-sided plastic container for disposal.
  • Pick up the needle with the point facing down. Keep the needle pointing away from you. If you want, you can use tongs to pick it up.
  • Place the needle, point end first, into the container.
  • When everything has been picked up, put the lid on the container and tape it shut.
  • Wash your hands or clean them with hand sanitizer.
  • Return the container and its contents to your local Northwestern Health Unit office.

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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