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Sharps disposal containers to be installed across campus

September 26, 2018
Sharps disposal container mounted on the wall in a restroom.

In January, Facilities Management and Development (FMD) embarked upon a pilot project to equip 18 washrooms on campus with sharps disposal containers. The containers were installed on the first floor of six buildings that were identified as areas of high occurrence risk. These containers were carefully selected for their safety features — once the sharps have been deposited, they can’t be accessed again.

The pilot project has demonstrated that the sharps disposal containers are being actively used. This has successfully reduced the number of sharps found in trash bins, on washroom floors, on the ground outside campus buildings and flushed down the drain in some washrooms. Because of this positive change, we will now be installing additional sharps containers across the campus.

Background and context for the pilot project

The pilot project was created in response to the concern around a growing number of used needles (also referred to as “sharps”) found on campus in a variety of spaces. While FMD and Security and Emergency Services employees have been trained to safely dispose of them, we felt the need to find ways to reduce the health risk to Ryerson students, faculty and staff.

In considering this project, we also benchmarked with other Ontario universities and found that this is a rapidly increasing concern for many campuses. Although some have one or two targeted locations for sharps containers, many are currently reviewing an expansion of their current sharps program.

510 additional washrooms to be equipped with sharps disposal containers

During the pilot, sharps containers were installed in the ground-level washrooms in ten targeted buildings (JOR, KHN, EPH, SLC, CED, VIC, RCC, ENG, SCC and OAK).

In the coming months, an additional 510 washrooms on campus will be equipped with sharps disposal containers in a two-stage approach. First we will install sharps containers in the remaining ground-level washrooms of all Ryerson-owned buildings, which will be complete by the end of 2018. Then from January through the end of June 2019, we will install sharps containers in the remaining washrooms in all Ryerson-owned buildings. Residence buildings will not be included in this project expansion.

Container replacement process

Ryerson’s Custodial Services team will manage the safe removal and replacement of full containers.

What to do if you find a needle on campus

If you find a needle on campus, do not pick it up as it could pose a health risk. Instead, please notify Security or the Facilities Help Desk immediately so that employees with proper training and equipment can safely remove and dispose of the needle.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the sharps pilot program, contact Patricia Yu, senior health and safety officer at 416-979-5000, ext. 553692 or patyu@ryerson.ca.

Additional questions or concerns?

If you have any additional questions, contact the Facilities Help Desk at fixit@ryerson.ca or 416-979-5091.

For urgent after-hours concerns, contact Security at security@ryerson.ca or 416-979-5040. In the case of an emergency, call 911.