What to do if you find a needle or syringe lying on the ground in public:
If you do not feel safe picking them up:
Call the SHARPS HOTLINE at 218-730-4001. Calls will be answered 24/7, and a volunteer will respond to the location.
If you do feel comfortable picking them up here are a few precautions to take:
- Wear gloves
- If gloves are not available, use another type of barrier to prevent the skin from touching the needle.
- Carefully pick up the sharp from the safe plunger end. Make sure to avoid the needle end at all times.
- Select a rigid plastic container with a screw-on lid to put the needle in. Laundry detergent jugs work best, but a pop bottle or milk jug will work, too.
- After putting the needle into the container, secure the lid so that it’s safe for transporting.
- Wash hands with warm soapy water immediately after disposal.
Needles cannot be disposed of in the regular garbage, so please drop sharps containers off at one of the following locations:
- Rural AIDs Action Network, 31 W 1st St., Duluth, MN 55802. Business Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- WLSSD’s Household Hazardous Waste Drive-Through, 2626 Courtland Street, Gate 9, Duluth, MN 55806. Business Hours: Thursday-Saturday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.