Sharps Disposal Program
Used Sharps Collection Program
Why is there a Used Sharps Collection Program?
Many community residents have medical conditions, particularly diabetes, that require self-injections at home. Because of issues regarding safety and disease transmission, the disposal of home-generated needles, syringes and lancets (or "sharps") has caused some concern on the part of families, refuse services, recycling staffs and landfills.
The Lee County Sharps Disposal Program was implemented to:
- Help you properly dispose of your needles and lancets
- Provide an environmentally safe option for disposing of sharps
- Prevent injury to humans and animals
- Keep sharps out of household trash and recycling bins
- Provide the public with local collection sites for home generated needles and lancets
- Prevent the spread of infectious disease
- Remove used needles from circulation and prevent the sharing of needles
What Are Sharps?
“Sharps” are defined as medical wastes, which have the potential to puncture or lacerate. This includes hypodermic and intravenous needles and syringes, as well as disposable lancets. Once you use a syringe, needle, lancet or other “sharp”, it becomes a potentially hazardous medical waste product. That is why it’s important to dispose of “sharps” the right way.
How does the Lee County Program Work?
You may go to any fire station or health department site in Lee County pick up your initial used sharps container (red box)
- After normal injections or blood test, dispose of sharps into the box. Do not clip or recap the needle.
- Do not attempt to retrieve sharps after they have been placed in the box.
- Do not overfill the sharps box. When the box is filled, use the locking mechanism on the lid to secure it. Place strips of adhesive tape across the top of box.
- Return the sealed container to any fire station drop-off site, exchange it for a new one and repeat the process.
When making the exchange, always give the filled sharps box to authorized personnel. Never leave a sharps box unattended. If no one is available at the fire station for an exchange, DO NOT leave your sharps box because it could get into the wrong hands.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
- Always keep sharps boxes out of the reach of children.
- Place your used syringes into the sharps container immediately after use. Never leave them lying around.
- Never put any container with a biohazard symbol into your trash. These containers MUST be returned to an approved disposal site.
- Do not overfill or cram needles into your sharps container. They are only puncture resistant not puncture proof.
- This is a FREE program for private individuals in Lee County who give themselves or a family member injections. Health care professionals and other business are regulated separately, and are not a part of this program.
Lee Diabetes Care 239-424-3120 http://www.leememorial.org/diabetes
Lee County Solid Waste 239-533-8000 http://www.lee-county.com/solidwaste
Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal http://www.safeneedledisposal.org/