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List of places to throw away needles and medication in San Benito County

SAN BENITO COUNTY, Calif. (KION) San Benito County is offering several drop-off options to residents with needles or medications ready for disposal.

In California, around 936 million sharps are used to inject medication every year, according to San Benito County. They're used for several medical and acute medical conditions from allergies to HIV/AIDS. For example, auto-injectors, connection needles and sets, lancets, other needles, and syringes are all types of sharps.

The waste management company Recology does not allow sharps and medication collected through the curbside because it puts employees at risk. It can injure individuals and spread infections that cause serious health conditions like Hepatitis and HIV.

Needles should be placed in approved sharp containers which San Benito County Integrated Waste Management provides at no cost. If you don't have an approved container, you can use household containers like empty laundry detergent, but you must label "DO NOT RECYCLE: HOUSEHOLD SHARPS," according to San Benito County.

When it comes to medication, San Benito County Public Health highly discourages flushing or pouring down the drain. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals. Exposure to even low levels of drugs has negative effects on fish and other aquatic species which can negatively affect human health. Throwing medication in the trash is also discouraged because children or household pets could get a hold of them.

You can drop them off, or pick up an approved container, at the following places:

If dropping off medication is too much of a hassle, residents can also pick up a Free Medication Mail-Back Envelope from San Benito County Public Health Services at 351 Tres Pinos Road at A-202 Hollister, CA 95023. They're open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Melody Waintal

Melody Waintal is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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