Feb 11, 2015
By Janette Kessler, Safety & Risk Coordinator
Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in employee injuries caused by syringes, needles, lancets and auto-injectors, commonly known as “sharps,” placed in the trash or recycling bin. Sharps are typically used in the home for insulin injection and administering medication to treat other chronic diseases such as allergies, arthritis, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis B and HIV.
The effects of a prick or cut caused by a sharp can be devastating to an employee. In most cases, the employee will be required to take post-exposure prophylactic medication and must endure a series of blood tests over the course of a year following the incident while contemplating the possibility of being exposed to a blood-borne disease.
Current New Jersey laws prohibit citizens from disposing of “sharps” (needles, syringes, lancets, etc.) intact or as a whole unit in the regular trash.
Managing and properly disposing of household generated “sharps” greatly reduces pollution to the environment and the possibility of exposing ACUA employees and our recycling partners to the risk of a puncture wound, cut, or blood-borne disease.
Disposal programs are offered at the following Atlantic County hospitals:
Shore Medical Center - Environmental Services
AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center - City Division, Atlantic City
AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center - Mainland Division, Galloway Township
, Somers Point
AtlantiCare Health Park -
If you have any questions or want to learn more about safe syringe disposal, call the Atlantic County Division of Public Health, Environmental Health Unit at 609-645-5971 ext. 4395.