Above: Attending the program launch were (l-r) Cowra Shire Council environmental planning director Michael Carter, Councillor Ray Walsh, pharmacist Lisa Rue, council officer Cassandra Bird, council Access Committee chairman Garry Starr and pharmacist Sue Nash.
A NEW program for the safe disposal of used needles, known as “sharps”, is a “great public health initiative”, says Mayor of Cowra Mayor, Bill West.
The program, which was launched on Wednesday this week, is a direct response to the increase in the use of needles to self administer medicines for conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, cancer and other serious diseases.
The program will see chemists keep a supply of Shire Council-provided sealed containers for medical needle-users to take home and in which to deposit their sharps.
The containers can then be returned to the chemist and exchanged for a new container.
The full containers will be collected in a large locked bin until they are collected for processing at special health disposal waste sites, avoiding the dangerous needles ending up in bins and at council’s Material Recycling Facility (MRF).
The program is an initiative by the council’s Access Advisory Committee and is being fully funded by the shire.
The free disposal facility, which has been operating at the council’s MRF for some years, will still be available.
“This is a great public health initiative that will lessen the chance of the community and council staff becoming infected from used needles,” says Cr West.
Users of the program can obtain a free disposal container from either of the Cowra pharmacies.
“Remember, don’t leave containers where young children can reach them, don’t overfill containers, and don’t dispose of containers into council waste or recycling services because of the high-risk of injury to workers,” says Cr West.
“Cowra Shire Council is supporting this program in order to keep our community safe from the ever-growing risk of needle-stick injuries.”
Posted By: Janette Lennox
Comments: Very good to see this program in place. Well done Cowra Council.