Updated Guide for Safe Disposal of Sharps Available
Nassau County Deputy Presiding Officer Roger Corbin (D-Westbury) and the Nassau County Department of Health are reminding residents that the 2007 updated “Guide for the Disposal of Syringes and Other Household Sharps for the Residents of Nassau County” is available free in hard copy from the NCDOH or online at www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/health/
According to the United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), eight million people across the country use more than three billion needles, syringes and lancets – also called sharps – to manage medical conditions at home each year. The New York State Health Department estimates that the number of yearly injections on Long Island for adults with diabetes is 61 million alone. Unlike medical waste from hospitals, waste from private homes is neither monitored nor regulated.
Dispensing of sharps in the household trash can be dangerous. Sharps can injure family members, janitors, housekeepers, trash workers, and others and spread disease. Diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV can be spread through needle stick injuries.
This updated guide provides the most recent EPA recommendations for safely disposing of used sharps by placing them in special sharps containers, or in some cases, an approved household container, such as a laundry detergent bottle, and taking them to municipal household hazardous waste collection sites where there are special collection bins for sharp disposals.
The guide lists Nassau County hospitals and nursing homes required to accept medical sharps from private residents. This list includes addresses, days and hours of operation, contacts and phone numbers for each facility. Residents are asked to contact the hospital or nursing home before bringing sharps to the facility.
If a needle or syringe is found in a public area, such as a park or playground, call the Nassau County Police Department by dialing 911. Police cars are equipped with approved waste disposal containers.
For information about disposal of household sharps or a copy of the Guide for the Disposal of Syringes and Other Household Sharps for the Residents of Nassau County, please call the Nassau County Department of Health, weekdays, 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. at 571-2019. Additional information is available on the web at www.epa.gov/epaoswer/other/medical/med-govt.pdf.