Beware of Needles on the Ground after the Snow Melts!


Spring has arrived and Algoma Public Health (APH) and the City of Sault Ste. Marie would like to remind residents to be careful if they come across discarded needles. For the most part, people who use needles take steps to dispose of them properly. However, as the snow melts, you may find needles on the ground.

“Sharps (needles) may pose a risk of physical harm or serious bloodborne infections if handled inappropriately, said Jon Bouma, Acting Director of Clinic Services at Algoma Public Health. “It is important to pick up and dispose of them properly.” Here’s how:

1) Use a pair of tongs, pliers or tweezers to pick up the needle. It is best to wear rubber gloves.
2) Pick the needle up by pointing the needle tip down and away from you.
3) Put the needle in a hard plastic container (like an empty coffee can or empty javex bottle) with a tight fitting lid and tape the lid closed.
4) Do not touch the object directly and do not recap, bend, break or remove the needle from a syringe.
5) From April 16th, 2015 to October, people can drop off containers at the Household Waste Facility located at 115 Industrial Park, Sault Ste. Marie. For the remainder of the year, hard plastic containers are accepted at most local pharmacies for disposal.

If needles are found on public property, residents may call the Public Works and Transportation Department at 705-759-5201 to arrange for pickup and proper disposal by City staff.



  1. When I see things like this I just shake my head and have a moment where I can’t believe this is a thing…. then I remember I live in a not so awesome neighbourhood and need to warn my teenager to watch where she’s walking. Sometimes I wonder how the human race has survived this long.

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