After a city employee was injured by discarded medical sharps, the West Fargo Sanitation Department has installed sharps drop box sites at the Sanitation Building, 117 8th St. W., and West Fargo Police Department lobby, 800 Fourth Ave. W.

Sharps are defined as medical supplies with sharp points or edges that can puncture or cut skin, such as needles, syringes and lancets.

Tom Clark, West Fargo’s sanitation manager, said a West Fargo sanitation worker was injured by an improperly disposed needle and it took two years of medication and testing to ensure they did not contract an infection from the incident.

The city of West Fargo has added sharps disposal containers to help keep sharp materials out of the garbage. Special to the Forum
The city of West Fargo has added sharps disposal containers to help keep sharp materials out of the garbage. Special to the Forum

Recycling and landfill partners report that sharps are constantly showing up in equipment making their work environment a very dangerous place. An estimated 7 billion sharps are discarded in the trash every year and up to 850,000 people are injured by sharps that are not discarded properly. Punctures by contaminated needles can inject hazardous fluids into the body, but contact with infectious fluids, especially blood, is the greater concern.

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The drop boxes have been placed at monitored locations and can be accessed by the public from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday near the west entrance off of Eighth Street West at the Sanitation Department and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday near the north entrance of the West Fargo Police Department. Drop boxes are only intended for sharps and should not be used to dispose of medication or other medical supplies. A medication drop box is located next to the sharps drop box at the West Fargo Police Department.