Five new syringe disposal locations are now available in Eureka, adding to Humboldt County's variety of options for safe, legal and convenient disposal of used syringes.
The additional locations are part of a joint effort between Humboldt Waste Management Authority and the City of Eureka, and include the Adorni Center, Wharfinger Building, Humboldt Bay Fire Station 1, Eureka City Hall and Eureka Police Department.
In December, the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) responded to community concern about syringe litter by installing two syringe disposal kiosks in Eureka.
Since then, thousands of syringes, weighing nearly 55 pounds, have been safely disposed of in the kiosks.
The Eureka DHHS kiosks are located at Public Health, 529 I St., and Social Services, 929 Koster St. A third one is scheduled to be installed at the main Mental Health location, 720 Wood St., soon.
These bins are part of the department’s Public Health Branch, Division of Healthy Communities, Syringe Services Program, which provides syringe exchange and disposal, overdose prevention education, HIV and hepatitis C testing and referrals, substance use treatment referrals, and other services.
In addition to the city locations and kiosks, HWMA also accepts sharps in red biohazard sharps containers for no-charge at several locations in McKinleyville, Eureka, Fortuna, Scotia and Redway. For a list of locations, available hours for drop-off, and other details, visit www.hwma.net.
Used syringes should be placed in a small sharps container before taking them to a kiosk or other disposal location. Small sharps containers can be obtained free of charge from each DHHS kiosk location's front desk during normal business hours. Containers are available at Healthy Communities
(908 Seventh St.), as well as the city's drop-off locations. Containers are also available for purchase at many pharmacies.
It is unsafe and illegal to discard syringes on the ground, in trash or recycling containers or by flushing them down a toilet.
Information about safe handling of loose syringes can be found at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration: http://bit.ly/2Fm2nHU.
For more information, call Public Health at 707-445-6200.