Safe disposal of needles and syringes
What to do if you find a needle or a syringe.
If it is on public space or land
• Roads and pavements
• Bus stations
• Car parks
• Public parks, grass verges and other open spaces
• Public toilets
• School playgrounds
or contact the Customer Contact Centre on 01724 297000. Give the person you speak to as much information as possible about the exact location of the object so that arrangements can be made to have the object collected by a trained operative. Do not move, hide or conceal the needle/syringe.
If the needle or syringe is on private space or land
• Private road
• Private land
You should immediately inform the owner who will need to arrange for it to be collected and disposed of.
If you are wanting to move a needle/syringe yourself
• Find a suitable container – e.g. metal tin, hard plastic tub, empty water or soft drink bottle – preferably with a lid – Do not use anything that could be easily pierced.
• Wear heavy duty gloves and use tongs, pliers or tweezers to lift the object – not scissors.
• Pick up the needle/syringe at the end of the syringe plunger or barrel.
• Hold the tongs/pliers in one hand and place the container on a flat surface in a horizontal position then place the object sharp end first into the container. Turn the container upright and let the object drop inside. If the container has a cap, put it back on.
• Wash your hands thoroughly.
• Take the sealed container to Waste Services, Cottage Beck Road, Scunthorpe DN16 1TS (01724 297848) where it will be properly disposed of free of charge. Monday – Thursday: 8:30am to 4:30pm, Friday 8:30am to 4:00pm.
What to do if you are injured by a needle
If the skin is broken contact your local doctor or contact NHS 24 –on 111.
Encourage bleeding for a minute or two by pinching around the wound with your thumb and forefinger to push out any germs. Do not digest any of the fluid released.
If possible, note as much as you can about the syringe (if there is one) such as did it have fluid in it and if so what colour it was and if safe to do so retain the syringe for examination by medical staff.
There is a low risk of getting a blood-borne infection from a needle injury – e.g. HIV or Hepatitis. However, it is important to get immediate medical advice if you are injured by a needle.
Obtaining a sharps containers
If you use needles and injecting equipment these need to be disposed of safely. A Sharps container is available free via your doctor or district nurse. Please contact them for further details.
Disposing of needles/syringes used on pets
If you have any used needles such as those used for the administration of insulin for pets, they must be disposed of in appropriate “sharps” bins which, when full, can close to prevent injury occurring from handling the needles.
Your vets should accept needles and syringes at the practice or alternatively provide you with the appropriate containers.