Memorial Hospital Los Banos, a Sutter Health affiliate, now offers residents of Merced County access to a program for used needle disposal.
The program allows residents who take insulin injections for diabetes, or use other devices that penetrate the skin for delivery of medications, to have access to free needle disposal. Unsafe disposal of needles can pose a risk to waste handlers and others. The program is one of the few in the state and the only one in the area that safely disposes of this household waste for residents.
Residents can purchase approved sharps containers at most local drug stores. A standard sharps container holds between 70 to 100 insulin syringes and retails for $3.99. Once the container is full and secured, it can be dropped off at Memorial Hospital Los Banos, 520 West I Street, behind the clinical lab in the needle drop kiosk. The kiosk is available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and only accepts approved sharps containers.
"Residents who use needles for insulin injections at home are encouraged to take advantage of the sharps kiosk. Proper disposal of needles reduces the risk of injuries to waste handlers and significantly reduces the amount of hazardous medication that ends up in our landfills, waterways, and the environment” says Bernard Bourque, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at Memorial Hospital Los Banos.
For more information contact Bernard Bourque at (209) 826-0591 ext. 6377.