Medical Sharps- an Optical Opportunity?


Tuesday nights are reserved for playing cards with the GOB’s (Great Old Biddies) The youngest in the group is 72 and the oldest is 93. Recently they just found out they can’t throw ‘Sharpies’ (syringes) in the trash. Two of the women don’t drive and another two use needles for diabetes. They don’t know what to do with their needles, and don’t have a close location to dispose of them.  Then coincidentally I was in an airport club in Dallas and surprise in one of toilet stalls they actually had a ‘Sharp’ disposal on the wall!

Medical Sharps are banned (California- Sept. 2008) in trash and recycling bins. Other states will probably follow as medical hazardous waste is becoming a huge issue. Sharps include needles, IV tubing with needles attached, scalpel blades, lancets, glass tubes and slides, and syringes. It also includes needles used for giving your pet shots.

Eye Boggling News:

  • US residents use needles and syringes to inject themselves more than 3 billion times per year
  • 1 out 12 household includes someone who uses hypodermic needles and syringes.
  • 250 Million pounds of medication is flushed by Medical Groups (into our waste stream)

This got me to thinking- is there an opportunity for the ECP? What if you offered Free Sharp Disposal Service in your office?  Went online to Earth 911- then to CIWB (California Waste Management) to see where the closest disposal units where. The closest is 12 Miles from my house. Yet I have 16 optical professionals within a 6 mile radius from my house.

What’s the advantage to you?

  • Consistent flow of patients and potential patients coming to your office.
  • Increase in referrals-
  • Perform a community service
  • Save the environment from hazardous waste!

Is this an opportunity? With a tightening economy- providing Free and Safe Medical Sharp Disposal can lead to a competitive edge, increase your ‘Talk Factor’ and hopefully drive Syringe and Needle Users into your office. Before you do so, check out the laws in your city, county and state to find out if this opportunity can work for you.

More Reading

To Find out Where to Dispose of Medical Sharps in your Area:

  • Earth 911
  • Coalition for Safe Needle Disposal– Good resource to find out more about safe needle disposal and locations.
  • Mail Back Sharps Disposal- Our mailback sharps disposal systems have been independently tested for safety andapproved by the U.S. Postal Service. Each of our systems is assigned a unique permit by the USPS allowing us to receive sharps and some medical waste through the Mail.Sharps waste will be destroyed by an EPA compliant facility in accordance with all federal, state and local regulations; and a destruction manifest will be sent to you for your records.
  • North American Syringe Exchange Program

Where to Find Medical Sharps Disposal Containers

Aspire MidPage June 19