Sharps bins are attractive to addicts. They contain needles and syringes, and where drug disposal is less good may contain narcotic analgesics and other controlled drugs conveniently drawn up in labelled syringes discarded from Intensive Care units and anaesthetic rooms/operating theaters.
A US hospital worked has been charged with theft of sharps from a locked utility room at the Floyd Medical Center, Georgia and for his troubles is now in Floyd County Jail.
We should not overlook the possibility of such thefts here in the UK. It was certainly a problem for several city centre hospitals in the 80s and early 90s, and more recently thefts have been recorded by those breaking into clinical waste treatment facilities and by waste handlers.
Similar issues have been discussed previously on the Clinical Waste Discussion Forum, with additional postings to be found in the Archive section of the Forum
see also Drug thefts from clinical waste