The Household Medical Sharps Collection and Disposal Program, managed by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), reached significant milestones in 2021 including one that makes it a national leader.
As of September, more than 82,700 pounds of household medical sharps have been collected from the public since the 2009 inception of the program. MDEQ projects the total will reach 85,000 pounds collected by the end of the year. It is estimated that 85,000 pounds is equivalent to more than 13 million syringes that were kept out of household trash bags, preventing needle stick injuries to sanitation workers and other waste management personnel.
“The growth of this program has surpassed expectations to the point that Mississippi has more household medical sharps drop-off locations per capita than any other state in the nation,” says MDEQ Executive Director Chris Wells. Currently, the program has 337 drop-off locations statewide, most of which are at local pharmacies and municipal fire stations. “Reaching the collection of 85,000 pounds just three years after reaching 50,000 pounds is another indicator of success.”
Before MDEQ implemented the collection program, there were few options for disposing of medical sharps. The Mississippi State Legislature, with input from MDEQ and others, adopted laws that established the medical sharps collection program to assist the public with the proper disposal.
If your state is interested in more information about the Mississippi program, see here.