Editorial | Don’t be lazy, dispose of your sharps correctly

HOW lazy can you get?

The fact that locals who can’t be bothered to dispose of things properly – or just don’t know how to – is putting the safety of innocent people at risk. 

A spike in the number of needles being dumped in recycling bins is a risk to the safety of employees at Gunnedah Recyclit.

You can understand the odd occassion when a needle – or any other sharp – may slip into the wrong bin. 

But when it’s happening enough to warrant Gunnedah Shire Council to issue a warning to residents, it is alarming.

“Any of the kerbside bins are not suitable for the disposal of any sharps,” Director of Planning and Environmental Services Andrew Johns told the NVI. 

“All it takes is one person doing the wrong thing, like putting a needle in the bin, and it becomes an issue.”

And he’s dead right. 

According to the council, sharps including needles, syringes and lancets – also called “finger stick” devices – have been disposed of incorrectly.

What’s more alarming is that material from recycling bins is sorted by hand at the Material Handling Facility.

Sure, employees wear appropriate protection, they are still being exposed to something they shouldn’t be.

There is no excuse for people putting needles in the wrong bin. 

It’s lazy and selfish, and puts workers at risk.

“Even one needle is too many,” Mr Johns said.

“There’s got to be an element of ownership from the people who are putting them in there.”

Council will conduct an audit of Gunnedah’s recycling bins in the new financial year. 

To clear the air, council has issued a list of where community public sharps bins are located.

They can be found in the Vernados Car Park on Little Barber Street, the Water Pump Station on Wandobah Road and Gunnedah Waste Management Facility on Quia Road.

Single use bins are located at sites including Brock’s Court and O’Keefe Pavilion at Wolseley Park, Mornington Park, Gunnedah Community Health and Gunnedah District Hospital. 

If you’re insure, please find out more at https://www.gunnedah.nsw.gov.au.

There are no excuses.

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