DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. – A grandfather from Davidson County is concerned about the safety of his grandson.
Jeff Gordon says he found dozens of used needles along his way this week and contacted authorities.
Gordon says he was told to discard the needles himself.
So what should you do if you are in a similar position?
The city of Greensboro says there are several options:
To get rid of sharp objects (such as pens, syringes, lancets, needles)
Used needles and other sharp objects are dangerous to people and pets if they are not disposed of safely, as they can harm people and spread infections that cause serious illness. Never place loose needles and other sharp objects in household or public trash cans or in recycling bins and never throw them into the toilet. These acts put sanitation workers, janitors, housewives, household members and children at risk.
Safe ways to get rid of your sharp objects
Mail return programs
Mail-back disposal programs allow users of sharp objects in the home to send used sharps to authorized disposal facilities as a safe disposal option. These programs charge a fee for this service. Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist, or search the yellow pages or the Internet using the keywords "stabbing email."
Needle destruction devices (which bend, break, incinerate or cut needles)
~ A destruction device that incinerates needles and lancets can be used at home to destroy needles immediately after use. These small portable devices use a few seconds of intense heat to melt the needles and reduce them to BB-sized balls. Previously used only in health centers, these devices are now available in smaller and less expensive models for home use.
~ A needle cutter or nail clipper automatically stores cut needles in a small trash can. Once the cutting edge is destroyed by heat or cutting, you can place the remains in a sealed container, such as a detergent bottle, and place it in household waste (do not recycle).
Syringe Exchange Programs (SEP)
Users of sharp objects can safely exchange used needles with new needles. Contact the syringe exchange network of North America at 253-272-4857.
Legal, but less secure
In North Carolina, it is currently legal to place used sharps in a bottle of laundry detergent with a lid and place that bottle in the trash. However, this is strongly discouraged due to injuries and health risks to sanitation workers and processing facility workers. It is better to use one of the above options to get rid of used sharps.