The Duluth Police Department along with the City of Duluth and other organizations have teamed up to organize a community wide sharps information and pick up event.

The organizations include the Rural AIDS Action Network, and the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD). The pick up event will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The City and its partners will be training volunteers and the community on how to safely dispose of abandoned medical sharps.

Finding used needles in the community has been a growing problem and it's great to see the city coming together to help clean up our beautiful town. Public education is a priority and training is available through the City of Duluth, the Rural AIDS Action Network, and the Duluth Police Department. The public is invited to meet at the Public Safety Building, 2030 N. Arlington Ave, this Saturday where WLSSD will have information about free disposal and proper handling and the Rural Aids Action Network will have sharps containers for residents to take and use.

Just remember, it is illegal to dispose of sharps in household garbage or recycling within the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (Duluth, Cloquet, Proctor, Hermantown, and surrounding communities). Here are some simple steps the public can take:

  • Select a rigid plastic container with a screw-on lid. Laundry detergent jugs work best for storing used sharps. Avoid thin plastics like milk jugs or pop bottles.
  • Label the container “Household Medical Sharps” or obtain a free sticker from WLSSD to label the container.
  • Carefully place needles, syringes, lancets, and ties in the container immediately after use. When the container is full, secure the lid with heavy-duty tape.
  • Bring the container to the WLSSD Household Hazardous Waste Facility (HHW) during normal hours of operation for free disposal.

The Rural AIDS Action Network has donated containers to help facilitate safe disposal of sharps. To receive your free sharps container, contact the Rural AIDS Action Network at 218-481-7225. If you discover any sharps and are not comfortable handling them, you can call the new SHARPS HOTLINE at 218-730-4001. If you would like help out and volunteer for this initiative, questions can be directed to Duluth Police Lt. Jeff Kazel at (218) 730-5463.