Bill could require pharmacies to accept and dispose used needles

Most communities offer needle disposal drop off sites

EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Residents know where to drop off their unwanted prescriptions, but what about unwanted needles?

22News found out there’s a bill that could require pharmacies to accept and dispose used needles.

“They’re trying to dispose of needles and there’s really no avenue for us to dispose of them,” said Officer Michael Ingalls of the East Longmeadow Police Department.

But that could change.

Boston lawmakers are considering a bill that would require pharmacies to accept and dispose used needles. Something law enforcement officers and residents, both told 22News, they think is a good idea.

“That would be a huge help,” said Michael Ingralls. “Not only to us, because people who come in with questions, they have nowhere to get rid of them. And also to the people who have the needles, if there was some place we could send them that would be a huge help.”

“There’s a lot of unwanted needles on the street,” said Melissa Strickland of Springfield. “Whereas, if they’re on the street, there’s kids and other people that stump into them and it’s a safety for them.”

It’s an imitative to stop people from disposing used needles in public spaces, like parks and restrooms.

East Longmeadow’s prescription drug-take back box is open to the public 24/7, as is the case with most police departments, except for Lee. After police found 3 boxes containing sharp needles. It’s now by appointment only.

But not everyone is happy about the proposal. According to the Boston Globe, the General Counsel for the Retailers Association of Massachusetts said, “Retail pharmacies are not waste disposal sites; they are not in the business of waste disposal.”

Most communities do offer needle disposal drop off sites. And there are companies that provide sharps mail back services.

Visit here for more information about needle disposal.