With warming spring temperatures, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reminding residents about how to safely dispose of used needles and other hazardous materials that may be found in their neighbourhoods.
For health and safety reasons, it is against the law to dispose of sharp objects, such as needles and syringes, in the garbage, recycling or by flushing them down the toilet. Garbage is compacted during collection, so even when placed in a puncture-proof container, needles, crack pipes or glass stems can be exposed and pose the risk of injuring someone.
There are several ways for residents to properly dispose of needles and other used hazardous materials. It’s important to treat these as contaminated and to follow important safety precautionsbefore disposing them at these locations:
- Putting them in a one of 65 Needle Drop Boxes located throughout the City of Ottawa.
- Dropping them off at select pharmacies.
- Dropping them off at Household Hazardous Waste Depots or at a retailer who accepts returns of household hazardous waste by using the City’s Waste Explorer.
- Larger containers of non-commercial used needles can be dropped off at Ottawa Public Health locations at 100 Constellation Drive or 179 Clarence Street.
Children should never touch a discarded needle or crack pipe. If a needle or other hazardous material is found, residents can also call 3-1-1 to make arrangements to have the City pick up a needle or other hazardous material immediately.