What to do if you find a needle in P.E.I.

A used needle on the ground can be dangerous — being pricked by one can lead to disease or infection.

Police departments across the Island will dispatch officers to pick up and dispose of needles properly

A needle on the Confederation Trail in Charlottetown. (Jesara Sinclair/CBC)

A used needle on the ground can be dangerous — being pricked by one can lead to disease or infection.

"Definitely do not touch it, because needles can carry disease," said Kensington Police Chief Lewis Sutherland. "We're here."

Call the police non-emergency line

The local non-emergency police line is the correct number to call across the Island.

Sutherland said there have been "maybe three or four" instances of needles reported to his department this year, and that his officers have the proper safety equipment to dispose of them.

In other parts of the Island either the RCMP or local police detachment can be called.

"If someone finds one or more needles discarded in an area that is in the jurisdiction of RCMP, they can contact us and we will send a member to pick them up," Island RCMP said in an email.

In Prince County:

  • West Prince RCMP 902-853-9300.
  • East Prince RCMP 902-436-9300.
  • Summerside Police 902-432-1201.
  • Kensington Police 902-836-4499.

In Queens County:

  • Queens District RCMP 902-368-9300.
  • Charlottetown Police 902-629-4172.

In Kings County:

  • Montague RCMP 902-838-9300.
  • Souris RCMP 902-687-9300.​

Don't put it in the garbage

Syringes should never be thrown in the regular garbage. Island Waste Management said that could hurt drivers or people working at the waste processing facility.

"Children should be taught to always tell an adult if they find a needle or sharps," said an email statement from P.E.I.'s Chief Public Health Office.

Bring pricked by a needle can lead to disease or infection. (Jesara Sinclair/CBC)

"Adults can use tongs (or puncture proof gloves) to pick up the needle and place it into a proper sharps disposal container or if that is not available a hard sided puncture resistant container with a screw on lid (i.e. peanut butter jar) and take it to IWMC's Household Hazardous Waste Depots located at the Waste Watch Drop-off Centers."

If you need to dispose of needles regularly, you can pick up a container from a participating pharmacy through a sharp disposal program, and can return it to the pharmacy when it's full for proper disposal. The program is free and for residential customers.

A needle exchange program is also offered in communities throughout the Island.

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