Law to change disposal process for ‘sharp’ medical waste

 

From Illinois Business Journal news services

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed into law a measure to require the separation of sharp medical waste, starting the first of the year.

State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, was chief co-sponsor of the legislation. The new law would require “sharp” medical waste, such as syringes, to be properly separated from regular waste. It also requires the state to provide collection services for such waste.

“This is an important safety measure, not just for our sanitation workers, who can be put at risk when people wrongly dispose of dangerous material in their regular recyclables, but for everyone,” Bush said. “This makes it harder for accidental injuries and infections to occur. I’m glad to see the governor sign a common sense safety regulation into law.”

For proper disposal, syringes and other “sharps” should be collected in an appropriate sharps disposal container and can be disposed of in your regular trash. Even when placed in the appropriate plastic container, sharps should never be disposed of with recyclables.

Under the new law, disposing of sharp waste like syringes in recycling would be prohibited. It would also permit local governments to establish sharps collection points at medical centers and police or fire stations and to create a U.S. Postal Service-approved sharp waste mail-back program.

The legislation was Senate Bill 793. It will take effect Jan. 1.

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