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How to Remove Syringes and Needles Found on Your Property

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

How to Remove Syringes and Needles Found on Your Property

Introduction

Finding discarded syringes or needles on your property can be an unsettling and dangerous experience. As a property owner, it is crucial that you know how to properly handle and dispose of syringes and needles to protect yourself, others, and the environment.

This comprehensive guide will provide in-depth information on best practices for removing syringes and needles from your property safely. I will cover key topics such as:

  • Understanding the risks of discarded syringes
  • Following safety precautions when handling syringes
  • Locating and collecting syringes on your property
  • Properly disposing of syringes and needles
  • Getting help from local organizations
  • Preventing future discarded syringes on your property

By the end, you will feel fully equipped to remove syringes and needles in a way that minimizes risk and exposure. Let’s get started!

Understanding the Risks of Discarded Syringes

Encountering discarded syringes on your property poses a few key risks that are important to understand:

Risk of Injury and Infection

Syringe needles can lead to accidental needlestick injuries if stepped on or mishandled. This poses a risk of transmitting blood-borne illnesses if the needle had been used by someone with an infection. Diseases like HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C can be transmitted through needlestick injuries.

Risk to Children and Pets

Children and pets who come across discarded syringes are especially vulnerable to needlestick injuries and infections. Their natural curiosity raises the chance of accidental contact.

Risk of Environmental Contamination

Toxic substances inside used syringes can leak into the soil and groundwater if not properly disposed of, leading to environmental contamination.

Being aware of these potential risks will help emphasize the importance of safely removing and discarding syringes from your property.

Follow Safety Precautions When Handling Syringes

When you locate syringes and needles on your property, it is essential to take precautions to handle them safely:

Wear Protective Gear

Use puncture-proof gloves and closed toe shoes to prevent needlestick injuries. Safety goggles provide extra protection for your eyes.

Use Grabbers and Containers

Use grabbers, pliers, or tongs to safely pick up syringes without touching them. Place them in a puncture-proof container like a sharps container or thick plastic bottle.

Avoid Direct Contact

Never try to detach a needle from a syringe. Never bend, break, or recap needles. Avoid handling syringes directly with your hands.

Keep Children and Pets Away

Ensure children and pets are supervised inside when removing syringes from an area. Block off unsafe areas outdoors.

Wash Hands Frequently

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling syringes or being outside in areas where they were found.

Following these precautions will help you stay safe when picking up syringes from your property.

Locating and Collecting Syringes on Your Property

Finding all syringes discarded on your property is crucial for safety. Here are tips for locating and collecting them:

Do Regular Checks

Visually inspect your entire property inside and out regularly to find syringes. Focus on secluded areas like under bushes, behind shed, etc.

Use Proper Lighting

Use a bright flashlight when checking areas outdoors at night. The glare off the needle makes syringes easier to spot.

Clear Away Debris/Vegetation

Clear away heavy debris or overgrown vegetation that can conceal syringes from sight.

Look Low and High

Scan both at ground level and up high on ledges, branches or walls where syringes could be tucked away.

Use Grabbers and PPE

Use grabbers and puncture-proof gloves to carefully pick up located syringes. Place immediately in plastic container.

Seal Container

When finished, seal sharps container well so no syringes can fall out. Store in secure, elevated location.

Thorough checks and safe collection practices will help you locate and contain all syringes on your property.

Properly Disposing of Syringes and Needles

Once syringes have been collected, proper disposal is vital:

Don’t Put in Regular Trash

Never place loose syringes or needles directly in your household or curbside trash cans. They can injure sanitation workers.

Use Approved Sharps Container

Place syringes point down in a sealed sharps container made of sturdy puncture-proof plastic.

Follow Local Disposal Laws

Check your municipality’s laws on sharps waste disposal. Many prohibit household trash disposal.

Use Safe Syringe Disposal Programs

Utilize approved syringe take-back programs in your area that will safely dispose of your sealed sharps container.

Disinfect Container Exterior

Before turning over your sharps container, clean and disinfect the exterior to remove contaminants.

Proper syringe disposal reduces the risk of exposure and environmental contamination.

Getting Help from Local Organizations

You don’t have to remove syringes on your property alone. There are local resources you can turn to for assistance:

Report to Law Enforcement

Notify your local police department if you find drug paraphernalia waste on your property. They may increase patrols.

Contact Municipal Services

Call your city or town’s department of public works to inquire about syringe cleanup assistance on private property.

Reach Out to Public Health

Your local health department may have syringe cleanup programs and can provide hazmat containers.

Partner with Non-Profits

Non-profit organizations may provide community syringe cleanup efforts or safe disposal resources.

Hire Professional Companies

Biohazard cleanup companies can be hired to professionally remove syringes from your property.

Don’t hesitate to enlist help for safe syringe removal and disposal.

Preventing Future Discarded Syringes

To help prevent discarded syringes from reappearing on your property in the future, consider these prevention tips:

Install Security Measures

Put up fencing, motion sensor lights, or security cameras to deter trespassers from visiting your property to use drugs.

Clear Heavy Vegetation

Trim bushes, branches, and dense weeds around the perimeter of your property so there are no hidden areas.

Post Warning Signs

Place clear signage that says “No Trespassing” and warns of surveillance to further deter trespassers.

Organize Community Cleanups

Coordinate with neighbors and local non-profits to organize regular community syringe cleanup events.

Advocate for Public Disposal Sites

Petition your local government to install safe public syringe disposal boxes in problem areas.

Proactive prevention steps can help reduce unwanted syringe disposal issues from recurring in the future.

Conclusion

Finding used syringes and needles on your property should be addressed swiftly yet safely. This guide covers smart practices for removal, disposal, getting help, and prevention that will protect you, your family, and your community. With gloves, grabbers, sharps containers, and caution, you can remove hazardous syringes from your property successfully. Just remember to always place safety first by avoiding direct hand contact, wearing PPE, and properly containing and discarding syringes.

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