California: Needle Disposal Needed -- Thorny Waste Issue Growing
January 10, 2011
In 2008, California made it illegal to dispose of used needles in the trash, becoming one of 11 states with such laws to protect waste haulers, sorters, and the environment. However, collection and proper disposal of sharps remains patchy. Needle users, including the growing number of diabetics, dispose of 355 million syringes in California annually, and most of them are still illegally thrown in the garbage, recycling bins or toilets.
The state law outlawing needles in common waste provided no additional funds for return programs. However, the California Product Stewardship Council is working with businesses, clinics, and other care providers to establish a uniform, efficient collection program, without added taxes or waste disposal fee increases to consumers. The council wants syringe producers to play some role in what it terms "extended producer responsibility."
12.26.2010; Anne Gonzales
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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