Littered Syringes in a public space. Immediate actions to take.

Found a littered syringes in a public space? 

Want to help keep our community safe & clean?

Littered syringes hide in weeds along hiking trails and in playground grass. They wash into rivers and float downstream to land on beaches. They pepper baseball dugouts, sidewalks and streets.

Statistics of collected needles in the USA are frightening. People, often children, risk getting stuck by discarded needles, raising the prospect they could contract blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis or HIV or be exposed to remnants of drugs.

Found used littered syringes, what should I do?

littered syringes

! There are some immediate actions you can take, all having different outcomes

  1. 1. Call the city (Local government) to voice concern and advocate for syringe disposal kiosks in your neighborhood. This will inform local government for the need for syringe drop boxes due to consistent issues with littered syringes in local rites of passage or in your neighborhood.     Impact from this will not be immediate however will create a track record so when resources become available, documentation  and data will be used to support your requests.


  1. 2. Contact HEPPAC to receive free Bio Hazzard containers (BIO Buckets) to give out or for yourself to be proactive in discarding littered syringes, because you just can’t take it anymore looking at those syringes in you line of site by where you reside.


  1. 3. Discard of them yourself. A Guide to Syringe Disposal:


what to do with littered syringes
  1. Use of common sense and universal safety precautions
  2. A. Bio Hazzard, SHARPS/bio Bucket. 2 liter soda bottle, CLOROX bottle, Gatorade bottle,
  3. B. Wear gloves, gardening, dishwashing, medical, etc. if accessible.
  4. C. Wear close toed shoes.
  5. D. Always pick up one syringe at a time.
  6. E. Use a clipper or grabber instrument if available.
  7. F. Always pick up by the barrel towards the end of the syringe.
  8. G. Discard needlepoint first into SHARPS container.
  9. H. Discard injecting equipment like, cookers, cottons, and tourniquets, alcohol swabs, in the bio bucket sharps container.


  1. A. Don’t panic and do not do anything you are uncomfortable with.
  2. B. Do not pick up more than one syringe at a time.
  3. C. If you have an open wounds do not pick up needles without gloves.
  4. D. Don’t wear flip flops or shorts.


Littered syringes happen for many different reasons; stigma and shame contribute too many of them.

There are no documented cases of HIV infection through contact with a needle or syringe discarded in a public place.

Needlestick injuries, discarded needles and the risk of HIV transmission.

Questions: Call HEPPAC at 510.434.0307