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April 2014

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Reduce Public Health Risks by Proper Disposal of Household Medical Sharps

Contact: Rebecca Mattano
Phone: 262-896-8014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Monday February 10, 2014

Reduce Public Health Risks by Proper Disposal of Household Medical Sharps

Waukesha (WI) – Waukesha County would like to remind residents that improperly disposing of medical sharps poses a public health risk along with the potential to injure haulers and recycling facility workers. To reduce public health risks, Wisconsin rules require all citizens to manage sharps safely. It is illegal to put sharps in the trash or with recyclables and there are several options for safe disposal:
• Contact your pharmacy, doctor, clinic or local hospital; many health care facilities accept sharps but are not legally required to register and 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 Medical under Product Disposal.
• 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.

“We want to make sure residents understand that if they dispose of their medical needles and sharps improperly, they are putting workers who collect their recyclables and trash at risk. Much of this work is done by hand, creating a hazardous situation for people who are providing a service to all of us,” stated Rebecca Mattano, Recycling & Solid Waste Supervisor for Waukesha County.

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

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