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Medical sharps program surpasses one-million milestone

JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) reports the Household Medical Sharps Collection Program has collected more than one million household medical sharps since the beginning of the program in 2010.

The program was developed by MDEQ to reduce the number of household medical sharps being disposed of in household garbage and toilets. Household medical sharps include such items as needles, syringes, lancets and other sharp objects used to penetrate the skin for medical testing or for delivery of medication. Medical sharps disposed in household trash present a safety hazard to sanitary workers and to the general public if trash bags containing loose sharps are torn.

This voluntary partnership, with local establishments such as pharmacies, fire stations and other venues, offers the public free, local drop-off sites. There are currently 158 drop-off collection stations in 91 communities across the state.

The program has grown from 260,000 sharps collected in 2010, to 400,000 in 2011, to a projected 480,000 by the end of 2012.

For more information about safe disposal of household medical sharps, including a list of drop-off collection stations, visit www.deq.state.ms.us/medsharps.

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