Reduce public health risks by proper disposal of household medical sharps. December is International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness month and Waukesha County would like to remind residents that improperly disposing of medical sharps poses a public health risk along with the potential to injure collection and recycling facility workers. To reduce public health risks, Wisconsin medical waste rules require safe management and disposal. It is illegal to put sharps in the refuse (trash) or with recyclables and there are several options for safe disposal.
“We want to make sure residents understand that improper disposal of medical sharps puts curbside collection and recycling facility workers at risk. Much of this work is done by hand, creating a hazardous situation for people who are providing a service to us all,” stated Rebecca Mattano, Recycling & Solid Waste Supervisor for Waukesha County.
Safe Sharps Disposal Options
- Contact your pharmacy, doctor, clinic or local hospital; many health care facilities accept sharps but are not legally required to register, therefore, may not appear on the list of registered sharps collection stations.
- Take sharps to a registered collection station. To find a site in Waukesha County go to www.waukeshacounty.gov/recycling and click on Product Disposal under Information, then go to the Medical drop-down.
- Use a "mail-back" sharps program, which can be found by searching the internet. The company should provide containers and packaging which meet U.S. postal regulations.
More Information About Sharps Disposal
For more information, disposal publications and other locations for safe disposal of medical sharps in Wisconsin visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/HealthWaste/HouseholdSharps.html