Health and safety - syringe disposal
"Sharps" is the collective name for needles, syringes and other objects which can cause potential harm to the public through contamination.
We operate a sharps hotline service which is a 24 hour collection and disposal service.
Where you might find a needle or syringe
You may find a needle or syringe in many places:
- Bus stations
- Car parks
- Public toilets
- School playgrounds
What to do if you find a sharp
Do not touch it!
- Do not let friends or pets touch it.
- Do not hide it.
- Do not kick it down a drain.
- Do not put it in a dustbin, litter bin or down the toilet.
- If you are a child tell a grown up - e.g. your Mum, Dad, teacher or police officer
Because the article may not be collected immediately, if you feel you want to help:
- Find a suitable container - e.g. metal can or hard plastic pop bottle.
- Wear heavy duty gloves and use tongs or tweezers - not scissors.
- Pick up the needle/syringe at the centre of the barrel.
- Hold the tongs in one hand and container in the other at arms length. In a horizontal position place the object sharp end first into the container. Turn the container to the vertical and let the object drop inside. If the container has a cap, put it on.
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Keep it somewhere safe until it is collected.
Who to inform
Whenever you find a needle or syringe inform the owner of the building, or if you find it in a public place, inform us and we will collect it. In the Mansfield area we operate a sharps hotline service which offers a 24 hour collection and disposal of discarded sharps. When you speak to an officer please be as specific as possible about the location.
- Encourage bleeding for a minute or two by squeezing the wound to push out any germs.
- If the skin is broken by a needle contact your doctor or local hospital accident and emergency department for confidential advice (for Kings Mill contact 01623 622515, or the hepatitis specialist nurse 01623 414114 ext 4634).
- There is a low risk of getting a blood borne infection from a needle injury - i.e. HIV, Hepatitis.
- However, the best action is to receive immediate confidential advice.
If you are an injecting drug user always dispose of used injecting equipment safely. Never throw it in a litter bin, down a toilet or drain, or leave it lying around. Return it to the needle exchange, someone always has to clear it up!