Householders in Bradford are being warned not to put hazardous waste such as used hypodermic needles into their recycling or general waste bin.
Recycling managers are worried that staff whose job it is to separate recycled waste are being put at serious risk of harm by the needles.
All hazardous clinical waste such as needles should be returned to the chemist or other health facility from where they came.
Patients who need to use needles regularly are provided with a specific ‘Sharps’ box to collect used needles before being returned.
If, for any reason, needles cannot be returned to a health facility, they may be disposed of at Bradford Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Staff will be able to point out hazardous waste bins where they can be deposited.
Boxes of needles or even plastic bottles stuffed with needles have been retrieved from the recycling collections. Some of these have burst leaving potentially harmful needles or other contaminated products loose in the recycling stream.
Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said: “We don’t want needles in our recycling bins.
“They should be disposed of in the proper containers and returned to where they come from so they can be destroyed without causing risk to anyone.
“Recycling collection and sorting staff have a very challenging job to do without having to put up with serious risks to their health from items which should not be in the recycling stream.”
For more information about recycling in Bradford please visit the website www.bradford.gov.uk/recycling.