Mount Herbert resident urges caution after syringes, needles discovered along road

This is the time of year when people are cleaning up their own yards, communities and roadsides but one Mount Herbert resident wants to warn people to be on the lookout for potentially harmful trash.

This after she found syringes with needles attached, discarded near her property for the second year in a row.

Gillian Attema found three needles scattered in the ditch alongside Bethel Road in Mount Herbert.

Her husband had found three others stuffed in a bottle around the same spot a few days earlier — after finding similar syringes the previous year.

"It was buried underneath the snow I guess during the winter and when my husband went to bend down and pick it up, it was wrapped in what would have been a plastic bag and there were 15 to 20 syringes," Attema said. 

"Some had covers on them. Some didn't."

Laura Meader/CBC

'Think twice'

Attema said after finding more of the syringes improperly disposed of, she had to speak out to warn others and draw attention to the proper way to dispose of used medical sharps.

"I'm hoping that maybe the person or people whoever that are responsible for it might see this and think twice before they throw things out."

Laura Meader/CBC

RCMP and other Island police forces recommend that people call the non-emergency numbers to report syringes found. Even the outside of the syringe could carry disease, so they advise people call the proper authorities if a needle is found.

All medical sharps (lancets, needles, insulin pens, etc.) should be placed into a special sharps container.

'We don't discriminate'

There is a program with some Island pharmacies where people can pick up a container for free.

"We have that program because needle return is important so that they're safely disposed of," said Allan Greene, the pharmacy manager at Murphy's Parkdale Pharmacy. 

"There are lots of people who use needles on a regular basis whether they be diabetic or people that are on injection medications or things like that and they need a place to return them."

Laura Meader/CBC

Greene estimates people drop off between 15 and 20 sharps containers each month. There are even a number of Island businesses that have put the containers in their restrooms so that the public can safely dispose of them.

He said they accept all kinds of used syringes, preferably in an approved sharps container, from anybody, no questions asked. 

"We don't discriminate, we accept any kind of needles," Greene said.

"So even if you're using them illicitly we still want to get them back so they're disposed of properly.... We still want you and everybody else to be safe."

More P.E.I. news