November is ‘Sharps Buy Back’ month at the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit.
They’re offering an incentive this month for used sharps being brought in to their North Bay location or the Alliance Centre in Sturgeon Falls.
The Health Unit is providing a $5 gift card for every 100 used sharps, like needles and syringes, that are brought in.
The initiative targets individuals who would benefit from using needle exchange services.
“Sharps Buy Back Month is an initiative launched by the Health Unit to collect used sharps while teaching individuals about our needle exchange services and how to pick up sharps safely,” says Katharine O’Connell, Community Health Promoter.
Officials say if a sharp is found in the community, follow these instructions to pick it up safely:
– Do not walk while holding the sharp object.
– Bring a puncture-proof, hard-sided, leak-proof container with a lid, such as a pickle jar or bleach container, to the area where the sharp was found.
– Do not recap, bend, break the needle or manipulate it by hand in any way.
– Place the object in the container using tongs if available. If tongs are not available pick up the needle/sharp from the blunt end and place it in the puncture-proof container. Secure the lid.
– Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
– Label the container ‘hazardous waste’ and bring to the Health Unit for proper disposal.
While the incentive campaign is only running this month, the Health Unit and Alliance Centre provide needle exchange services year round.
In addition to a needle exchange program, the Health Unit also offers naloxone, safer inhalation kits, safer crystal meth kits, and a variety of other health services like free dental care for eligible adults and children, free or low-cost birth control options, and Hepatitis C, HIV, and STI testing.
For more information on the Sharps Buy Back campaign, visit or call 1-800-563-2808.

(photo by station staff)

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