Residents in Sudbury, Ont. should get used to seeing more community biohazard bins around the city, according to officials with the Sudbury and District Health Unit.

The health unit is looking to expand its needle disposal program.

The bins are secure receptacles where people can throw out used syringes. Currently, there are two: one near Louis Street and another at the site of the health unit's Paris Street office.

Public health nurse Ginette Cyr told CBC News there are plans to put another bin in New Sudbury, with discussions taking place on how to add even more.

"Not every one has a safe place to live and a safe place to inject," she said.

"A lot of these people are couch surfing. A lot of these people are homeless. So that's part of the reason why they don't have any safe place to store."

Public health staff has been called 92 times to pick up discarded needles around the city since March, Cyr said.

Needle container

Specialized secure containers, like this one pictured in Thunder Bay, Ont., are used to collect used syringes. (Ron Desmoulins / CBC)

Used needles are commonly found on the ground in the spring, as melting snow reveals those tossed away over the winter.

If people plan to pick up syringes themselves, Cyr advised being very careful not to get poked.

"Some of the clients that use the needles might potentially be infected with HIV or Hepatitis C," she said. "Not all the clients, but some — we just don't know if the needle was in contact with some of those viruses."

Cyr said people should wear work gloves and use tongs or pliers to pick up needles, and any syringes should be put in a heavy duty plastic or a metal container sealed by duct tape.