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W. Newbury Public Health Dept. Provides Guidance on Sharps Disposal

Town of West Newbury Health Department
Paul Sevigny, Health Agent
381 Main Street
West Newbury, MA 01985

West Newbury Public Health Department Provides Guidance on Sharps Disposal

WEST NEWBURY — The West Newbury Public Health Department would like to offer guidance and safety tips for residents who are looking to dispose of sharps in a safe manner.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, sharps is the medical term for devices with sharp points or edges that can puncture or cut the skin. They are used to manage the medical conditions of people or their pets including allergies, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, infertility, migraines, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, blood clotting disorders and psoriasis.
As of July 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health banned the disposal of household medical sharps in regular trash, as it poses a danger to recycling and trash collection workers as well as family members of sharps users.

“Household medical sharps must be disposed of in an approved sharps container at an official disposal site to avoid injury or the spread of infectious disease,” said West Newbury Public Health Agent Paul Sevigny. “West Newbury residents who have questions or concerns about how they should dispose of their used sharps should contact the Board of Health.”

In order for residents to keep themselves and their community safe, the West Newbury Health Department recommends the following tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health:

Do not put sharps in the household trash.
Sharps should never be thrown in the garbage or recycling bins, flushed down the toilet or dropped into storm drains.
Discard your needles and syringes at an official sharps disposal location.
Use a sharps container. These can be purchased through some local public health departments, pharmacies, medical supply stores or ordered through the mail. Please note, West Newbury residents must use official sharps containers for disposal.
Transfer sharps in containers for disposal.
When transporting sharps to your local disposal center, be sure they are secured in a container.
Keep needles away from children and pets.
Place used syringes in a sharps container immediately after you are done using them.

West Newbury residents can drop off used sharps at the Board of Heath office, 381 Main St., Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., or by appointment. Residents may also purchase official sharps containers at the Board of Health office for a minimal cost. Prices range from $1 to $15 depending on the size of the container.

Additionally, residents should dispose of unwanted prescription drugs, as medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. West Newbury residents can drop off their unwanted medications into the kiosk in the lobby of the West Newbury Police Department, 401 Main St.

For questions or more information about safely disposing of sharps or prescription medications, contact the West Newbury Board of Health at (978) 363-1100 ext. 118.

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