If needles are found on public property, please contact Dispatch at 519-661-4965. This phone line is answered 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
Sharps are items that are potentially contaminated with blood or body fluids and are capable of causing a cut or puncture in the skin. Sharps include used syringes with needles attached, used needles, used razor blades, broken glass that has come into contact with blood or other body fluids, used crack smoking stems and lancets.
Sharps disposal kits in the Core Area
The City works in a variety of ways to collect and dispose of found sharps in public spaces – river banks, parks, civic spaces, streets and public parking lots. However, due to a variety of legal issues, the City is not able to collect and dispose of sharps that have been found on private property.
Residents and businesses in Downtown, Old East Village, Richmond Row and Midtown can request a sharps disposal kit to help them safely dispose of sharps on their private property. These kits include tongs, gloves, a receptacle for sharps and information on how to safely pick up sharps. With a limited supply, these kits are available on a first come, first serve basis. You can visit the Dundas Place Field House at 179 Dundas Street from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to pick up a sharps disposal kit. You can also contact the Core Area Ambassadors by emailing email@example.com or calling 519-661-2489, extension 7455 to request a sharp disposal kit be delivered to you.
Why should sharps be handled safely?
- Sharps can contain blood from other people and this blood can carry blood-borne infections like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.
- HIV can live on a needle for up to several hours. Hepatitis B and C can live on a needle for weeks.
- Accidental puncture wounds from a sharp can allow the entry of infection through the skin, resulting in blood-borne infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.
Eighteen stationary needle collection bins have been installed at strategic locations in downtown and priority areas to assist with the collection of discarded drug using equipment.
How should I handle and dispose of found needles or other sharps?
- Use caution. Treat all found needles and other sharps as contaminated. Do not try to put the cap back on a needle.
- If you do not have a specialized sharps disposal container, you will need a non-breakable, puncture-proof container with a lid (e.g. a hard plastic container or tin can).
- Do not touch the sharp with your bare hands.
- Use tongs, pliers or tweezers to pick up the sharp. It is best to also wear gloves. Always hold sharp or cutting edges down and away from you.
- Put the container on a stable surface next to the sharp. Do not hold the container in your hand when placing the sharp inside. If picking up a needle, put the needle in the container point down. Do not force sharps into the container or overfill it.
- Close the container securely.
- Wash hands with soap and water and/or an alcohol-based hand rub after all handling sharps, containers, used equipment, and after removing gloves.
- Teach children to never touch sharps but to tell an adult what they found and where.
For more information visit the Middlesex London Health Unit's website.
Stationary Needle Bins current locations
Locations currently offering a Stationary Needle Bin include:
- 580 Dundas St – LMHC
- 130 King St – Covent Garden Market, Market Lane
- Forks of the Thames
- 459 York St – Mission Services
- 241 Simcoe St – LMHC
- Victoria Park
- 186 King St – RHAC
- Bathurst St. at Clarence
- Bathurst St. at the Salvation Army Centre of Hope
- Municipal Parking Lot – Queens and Adelaide
- Municipal Parking Lot – Queens and Lyle
- Campbell Park
- Municipal Parking Lot – King and Adelaide (near Tolpuddle Housing Co-op)
- Piccadilly Park
- Watson Park
- Harris Park (bandshell)
- Carfrae Park (at Ridout St)
- McMahen Park
- Queens Park
- CNRA Park
- Under York Street Overpass
- Bathurst Street at Clarence
- Parkette at Richmond and Horton
Needle Exchange Program in London
The Counterpoint Needle and Syringe Program at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection assists to:
- Reduce the transmission of HIV, Hepatitis C and other blood-borne infections among individuals who use drugs, and beyond into the larger community.
- Educate service users about the health risks associated with drug use.
- Provide information and materials necessary to practice safer drug use and safer sex.
- Provide referrals to other social services and health care agencies such as drug and alcohol treatment centres for those who want to stop using drugs, as well as doctors, hospitals, social workers housing and welfare support agencies, legal aid, etc.
All services of the Counterpoint Needle Exchange and Syringe Program are free and confidential. Services also include counselling, free condoms and other equipment for safer drug use.
Where can I dispose of a full sharps disposal kit?
Disposal kits should not be thrown in the garbage or blue box. Disposal kits should be thrown in one of the Stationary Needle Bins. A list of Stationary Needle Bins where you can dispose of your kits safely can be found in the drop-down above.