The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) is appealing to the public to properly and safely dispose of needles and other bio-medical waste.
“Over the past few months, we have noticed a marked increase in the number of needles being dumped in our yellow recycling bins,” says RDEK Solid Waste Superintendent Jim Penson. “These needles are not from one source – they are single needles, needles used for medical purposes, insulin needles in jars, you name it. No matter where they come from, the message is the same: they do not belong in the yellow bins.”
Most concerning to the Regional District is the potential safety risk posed by people recklessly dumping sharps in the bins.
“Our yellow bins are sorted by hand. Every time someone puts a needle in one of our bins, they are potentially risking the health and safety of the hardworking men and women at the sorting facility. There is no excuse for it and it needs to stop,” adds Penson.
Needles should be properly disposed of in designated sharps containers. Containers are available at most pharmacies and there are numerous safe locations to dispose of needles across the East Kootenay.
The RDEK will be reaching out to Interior Health and other harm reduction agencies to try to get the message out through every means possible; however, is appealing to the public to do the right thing.
“The message is very simple: no needles in the bins. Period,” stresses Penson.