The Andover Townsman
---- — The Andover Health Division, in conjunction with the Andover Police Department/DEA Medication Take-Back Day, will be holding a sharps disposal day on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at West Elementary School.
Residents can bring both unwanted medication and sharps — medical devices that can puncture the skin —for proper disposal.
The state now prohibits the disposal of needles, syringes and lancets, as well as other medical instruments that can puncture, in the regular trash. Officials say those items, collectively known as sharps, pose a serious threat to the health and safety of Massachusetts residents if improperly disposed of. They can potentially result in injury or the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or even HIV, especially among custodial staff, sanitation workers, children and pets.
Used sharps must be brought in rigid, puncture-proof containers. Officials are asking people to use an appropriately sized container for the number of used sharps to be disposed. Loose needles or items in plastic bags will not be accepted. Sharps containers will be available for sale at the collection day.
Anyone with questions may call the Health Division at 978-623-8295. Additional information is available on the Health Division page of the town website at www.andoverma.gov/health. For more information, visit the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection online at www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/hazardous/medical.htm.