October 30, 2013

City expands drug disposal program

New drop-off for used needles

By Rob McDaniel
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — In an attempt to keep expired and unneeded prescription drugs off the streets, London has recently placed two pill drop-off boxes inside the London Police Department.  As an extension of that program, the city has begun taking used needles at two locations.

The needle disposal areas are now located in the London Police Department and in the bottom floor of City Hall in Director of Risk Management Rick Cochrane’s office.

Cochrane said after the implementation of the pill drop-off locations, people began to ask for safe places to drop off used needles.

The requests led the city to create the two disposal areas.

“We want to make sure used needles aren’t being sent to our landfills or recycling centers,” Cochrane said.  “It’s a public safety issue having needles disposed of improperly.  We don’t want our sanitation workers accidentally being stuck by needles, especially with the risk associated with them.”

Cochrane said city sanitation workers have had to refuse trash pick-ups due to needles being placed in trash cans.  City workers will not pick up trash if they see needles in the trash.

 “We want the public to know there are places they can safely dispose of needles,” Cochrane said.  “All they have to do is store the needles in a coffee can or empty milk jug and bring them to us.  We’ll make sure they’re properly disposed of at no cost to them.”

Cochrane said currently the city fills one 30-gallon trash can every three months from people dropping off used needles.  Once the cans are filled, Cochrane schedules a pick-up with an independent company that is used by the police department and local hospitals.  The company guarantees the needles will be incinerated, not be placed in a landfill.

Both disposal locations are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  For more information, call (606) 864-4169.