Area hospitals offer ways to dispose of waste

Submitted Photo Pictured are proper and improper ways to dispose of medical waste, used household medical needles, syringes and lancets.

To safeguard patients and community members from potential contamination by medical waste, used household medical needles, syringes and lancets may safely be disposed of inside the hospital in a secure room adjacent to the lobby switchboard from Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at:

¯ Brooks Memorial Hospital — 529 Central Ave., Dunkirk, (366-1111)

¯ Lake Shore Health Care Center — 845 Routes 5 & 20, Irving, (951-7000)

Used “sharps” (i.e., needles, syringes and lancets) can present very hazardous situations when disposed of improperly. When thrown in the trash without taking the proper precautions, these items have been known to puncture the skin of people managing the waste at a later date — often making them very ill. To help avoid this potentially dangerous situation, Brooks has long accepted used sharps from the community for proper disposal through its Safe SHARPS Disposal Program.

Before used sharps can be brought into the hospital, they need to be placed in a rigid, leak-proof, puncture-resistant and sealable bottle. A good example of this type of container would be a small laundry detergent bottle. The bottle should be tightly sealed and clearly marked “Contains Sharps.” Please note that milk jugs and soda bottles are not rigid or puncture proof and are therefore not to be used for this purpose. Containers should never be left unattended anywhere other than inside the secure disposal bin itself, as doing so would still present a significant risk for needle sticks. This bin is also not intended for disposal of unused prescription medications.

Loose or individual sharps should never be placed in the disposal bin or left unattended.