Dispose of medical needles safely

LIHUE — County officials are reminding the public that sharps or medical needles must be properly disposed.

“Improper disposal of contaminated sharps is a serious safety concern for our refuse collectors and landfill workers,” said Acting County Engineer Lyle Tabata. “We urge the public to follow the correct procedure in disposing these items.”

Tabata noted that a number of people use sharps at home for a medical condition, and that it is OK for them to put their used sharps in the regular trash as long as it is done properly.

The steps that should be followed in disposing sharps are:

• Sharps should be stored in a strong, leak-proof plastic container, such as a laundry detergent bottle.

• The container should be clearly marked “biohazard.”

• When the container is full, it should be filled with one part bleach and 10 parts water and allowed to soak for 20 minutes.

• The solution should then be poured into a sink, and the container should be sealed with its original cap. As a safety measure, heavy-duty tape should be placed on the cap.

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