Medical Waste Can Lead To Waste Hauler Problems

May 19, 2014

Sharps container
Credit William

About nine million syringe users nationwide administer three billion injections outside of health care facilities. The DNR is hoping Wisconsin's syringe users remember it's the law to not throw them in the trash.

Barb Bickford is Medical Waste Coordinator for the DNR....


"'s illegal to put sharps in the trash. They should put them in containers that are thick-walled and have screw-on caps, an official sharps container or a bleach bottle or detergent bottle. Then they should mark them with the words, 'do not recycle' or 'sharps'...."

She says people can get picked by the waste sharps and that causes health concerns...


".....they can also harm waste haulers and people who work at landfills, especially those who work at recycling facilities.(Those affected) have to go through extensive medical testing and then they have the emotional issues not knowing whether they have a disease...."

The DNR is out with a series of articles on disposing of medical sharps and that information is available through the DNR website. When there, click on "medical waste".