Sharps bin left for collection round

Clinical sanitary wastes on pavementA Bailiff Bridge resident was advised to leave needles and medical equipment in broad daylight close to schools and the public.

Graham Croft was clearing out the home of his mum who had recently died and needed to dispose of a sharps box containing needles and syringes, many which had be unopened.

However, after consulting the chemist and his doctors surgery, he was told to contact Calderdale Council as they were the organisation who deals with getting rid of this type of waste.

When he rung the Customer Service team he was told to leave the medical container out with the general waste for collection. He said that people are being encouraged to take medication back so it can be dealt with properly but this wasn’t the case.

“I couldn’t believe they had given me that advice to leave the yellow box in plain view,” he said.

There are a lot of school kids who pass by and it only takes one user to see the box and think ‘what’s in there’.

“When I talked to people they were stunned what I had been told to do.” Mr Croft, of Bradford Road, asked the Council if he could arrange for refuse collectors to make an appointment and call when they were in the area picking up the general waste but was told this wasn’t possible.

He suggested that maybe a chemist or doctors in a village or town could act as a drop off point for people wanting to dispose of medication and medical items properly and for the Council to then collect it from there.

In the end he left the box out with the usual collection but tried to keep it hidden.

Calderdale Council’s Head of Housing, Environment and Renewal, Mark Thompson, said: “There seems to have been a misunderstanding here. We do help residents by providing appropriate receptacles and arranging a special collection in cases like this. Collections can be arranged through our contact centre, who are well trained in the procedures for arranging collections of clinical waste and ‘one off’ sharps boxes.

“On occasion we may say to leave secure receptacles for collection in a particular place, but not until collection has been arranged and a reasonable collection point agreed.” But instruction to leave domestic clinical and sharps waste on the pavement from early morning , or even the night before, until collection at some unspecified time later that day is far from uncommon. Indeed, in the Clinical wastes in the community audit, this approach was becoming almost the norm.

That can’t be acceptable.




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