Public Litter

The litter associated with sex work, particularly street-based sex work, is the source of much of the tension and conflict in the community. The presence of condoms, condom wrappers and drug paraphernalia outside and around businesses, residences and playgrounds not only creates a distasteful mess that people need to clean up, but also affects the health and safety of the area. It is often the debris associated with sex work, and not sex work itself that residents and businesses are concerned about. Discarded mattresses, often perceived to be associated with street-level sex work, are left in alleys and make it difficult for business or residents to access their properties.

City Mattress Removal: Phone 311

Needle Pick-up: 604-657-6561  Email: needlevan@phs.ca
For more information, click here

What to do if you find a used needle

Call the above line for pick up or if you do decide to pickup a needle, it is important to dispose of them promptly and carefully.

  • Use a pair of tongs or pliers, or a pair of thick leather gloves, to pick up these items.
  • Discard condoms in a plastic bag.
  • Discard syringes or needles in a puncture-proof container, preferably one intended for such purposes. Any plastic or metal container with a lid, such as a coffee can, will also do. Do not place these containers in your recycling bin.
  • When you have finished, wash your hands carefully with soap and warm water.

Teach children to NEVER touch needles, syringes or condoms, and to tell an adult immediately if they have found one.

What to do if you prick yourself with a dirty needle

  • If possible, put the injury below your heart to promote bleeding. Do not squeeze and do not put in your mouth.
  • Wash the area well with soap and water.
  • Do not soak the wound in bleach.
  • Go to the nearest local health unit or hospital emergency department immediately for care.

*Remember* All blood and body fluids from any person are potentially infectious.

For more information, call HealthLink BC to speak with a registered nurse any time, every day of the year.· Call 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C. · For the deaf and hearing-impaired, call 7-1-1. Translation services are available in more than 130 languages. To learn more about contact with blood or body fluids, see HealthLinkBC File #97 Contact with Blood or Body Fluids: Protecting Against Infection. For more health topics, visit the HealthLinkBC Files web page, or visit your local public health unit.

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