There has been a marked increase in the nubmer of needles being dumped in yellow recycling bins, according to the RDEK. RDEK photo.

RDEK warns about improperly disposed needles

Sharp needles are being found in yellow recycling bins, which is unsafe, says RDEK.

Do not dispose used needles into yellow recycling bins, warns the Regional District of East Kootenay.

“Over the past few months, we have noticed a marked increase in the number of needles being dumped in our yellow recycling bins,” says Jim Penson, RDEK Solid Waste Superintendent. “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.”

RDEK is worried for the safety risk that the needles pose for staff when recklessly dumped in the recycling 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.

There are designated sharps disposal containers that can be picked up at most pharmacies, according to the RDEK. There are numerous safe disposal locations in Cranbrook such as a pharmacy or harm reduction service.

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