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Fairbanks Public Works talks safe needle disposal methods as spring melt reveals hidden trash

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 5:37 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - As the snow melts, residents of Fairbanks have been finding needles and syringes that were previously hidden from view. These needles and syringes, otherwise known as sharps, can be dangerous to garbage collectors if not stored properly.

As more people get outside, Fairbanks Public Works has been receiving an increase in calls reporting sharps.

Sean Rice, a Labor Forman for Fairbanks City Garbage Collection, asks that people who find sharps call city public works to report them. He also said to contain them correctly, as improperly stored sharps can stab workers, presenting a health risk.

Rice says that whether someone is disposing of needles at home from medical applications, or dealing with sharps they found, they should always be placed in a hard plastic container with a lid.

He also mentioned that with Fairbanks Clean-Up day approaching on May 15th, it’s a good idea to carry one of those containers.

“Just get a water bottle and use it as a make-shift sharps container. You know, make sure that you are grabbing the needle or the syringe from the middle of it and just put into the bottle itself and cap it,” Rice said.

Rice also says that people shouldn’t leave needles out because they don’t know who could find them next, and potentially get hurt.

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