David Grunes, Fire Chief
55 The Great Road
Bedford, MA 01730
For Immediate Release
Monday, July 13, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Bedford Fire and Bedford Board of Health Announce New Needle Disposal Kiosk
BEDFORD — Fire Chief David Grunes and the Bedford Board of Health are pleased to announce that a newly installed Kiosk is available for residents to dispose of needles, syringes and lancets (medical sharps).
The Kiosk is located in the front lobby of the Fire Department, 55 Great Road.
“This initiative is one of many ways the fire department is working to protect and promote public health and safety in our community,” Chief Grunes said. “We welcome residents to take advantage of this kiosk to dispose of their medical sharps.”
All sharps must be collected in a puncture-resistant and non see-through container before being placed in the kiosk. These can be purchased at local pharmacies. Empty containers such as laundry detergent or bleach bottles can also be used.
A limited number of free, quart-sized sharps containers are available at a first-come, first-serve basis at the Board of Health office. Glass containers, coffee cans, cardboard boxes and paper or plastic bags are not appropriate and will not be permitted for disposal in the kiosk. Needles are not allowed to be loose or left outside of the kiosk.
Bedford Police also provides two kiosks, one for sharps and one for unwanted or unused drugs, that are accessible 24 hours a day. They’re located at the entrance vestibule of the police department, 2 Mudge Way. Prescription and over-the counter medications, patches, ointments, vitamins and medications for pets are accepted in the drugs kiosk. Medications can be dropped off loosely in bags or in bottles. The collected drugs are incinerated and there is no need to remove labels from bottles.
Items that are not permitted for disposal at either kiosk include non-prescription ointments, lotions, liquids, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans, inhalers and thermometers. Sharps
and needles need to be separated from medication and disposed in the sharps kiosk.
As of July 1, 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Public Health Council set forth new regulations on disposal of medical wastes. These regulations ban putting household medical sharps in regular trash. This is done to protect recycling and trash collection workers, as well as family members of sharps users. Those who are exposed to loose needles are at risk of painful injury or contracting diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B.
“In the United States, there is an increasing problem of prescription drug abuse, where drugs are commonly obtained from family and friends,” Chief Grunes said. “Improperly disposing of these drugs puts the community at risk for abuse and misuse. Flushing them down the toilet or simply throwing them away can be a potential safety and health hazard and detrimentally impact the water supply, wildlife, and the community.”
The fire station is open to the public from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information contact the Board of Health at 781-275-6507.