Dealing with Needles: Algoma Public Health advice


Frequent social media posts point to a problem with used needles being left all over town.

Parks, trails, parking lots no place seems to be immune to this issue.

In reading, a lot of individuals don’t know who to call or what to do when they see a needle so many people leave it and carry on.

In an email exchange with Algoma Public Health, I was able to get to the answer to the question:

What to do if you find a needle?

Jon Bouma is the manager of infectious disease at Algoma Public Health.

Here was Bouma’s email response:

Thanks for reaching out.

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

Sharps (needles) may pose a risk of physical harm or serious blood-borne infections if handled inappropriately. It is important to pick up and dispose of them properly.

If you find a needle on your property, you can use a pair of tongs, pliers or tweezers to pick up the needle with the needle pointing down and away from you. Place the needle in a hard plastic container, like a coffee container or water bottle that you can close tightly. These containers can be dropped off at the Household Hazardous Waste Depot located at the landfill site on Fifth Line. Watch a video on how to safely dispose of needles.

In addition, they can be dropped off at any needle drop bin location. These bins help with safe needle disposal, divert sharps away from the City landfill site and help protect Public Works staff who collect garbage.

If you have an issue in the city you want help getting to the bottom of let me know and I will see if I can get the public, the answers.


    • Well you’re wrong. While working as a contractor in Sault Ste Marie I’ve been collecting and disposing of needles on job sites. As of last week I’m up to 577 needles (collected since January 1 2020).
      The most common needles I’ve found have just a little bit of blood in them but I’ve also found many that look new & unused with the end cap on.
      Sure this could be staged but so what? What’s the harm? There are people who don’t know a needle looks like and this is an example. Personally I think from a health & safety or WSIB perspective staging a photo with a needle open is an unnecessary risk anyway, no reason for a needle stick even with a “clean” needle in an unsterile environment.

Comments are closed.