The disposal of used needles in recycling bins is not just a health risk but ‘undermines’ recycling efforts, Slough Borough Council (SBC) has said.
SBC is calling on residents not to put used needles in household bins following a rise in the number being found in recycling.
This means more recycling loads from Slough are being rejected by Grundons waste plant and instead must be disposed of as hazardous waste.
Nick Hannon, environmental strategy and governance manager at SBC, said: “We’re currently seeing whole boxes of needles being thrown in recycling bins, along with some individual needles and syringes.
“This poses a health and safety risk, particularly to the people who handle and process the recycling, as used needles are sharp and can carry blood-borne viruses.
“It also undermines the efforts of all the residents who are using recycling bins properly, because once a load is rejected it can’t be recycled.”
No reports of injury have been made to the council and anyone who finds a needle should not go near it and report it to the council immediately.
Used needles and sharp medical paraphernalia should be put in a sharps bin, which, once full, should be returned to the surgery or pharmacy they came from.
The council runs a free clinical waste collection service for residents with medical conditions who are not able to do this. For more information call 01753 518555 or 0800 634 6301.
Blenkharn Environmental, clinical waste, clinical waste discussion forum, clinical waste disposal, community, danger, drug litter, hazard, health and safety, injury, needle, needle disposal, needlestick, recycling, segregation, segregation errors, sharps disposal, sharps injury, syringe disposal, source segregation, waste management