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Illegal dumping sparks discussion on safe sharp disposals

Hazardous material signLa Crosse, Wis. (WXOW) – La Crosse Police are investigating an illegal dumping complaint that occurred near Earley Drywall & Construction at 408 Copeland Avenue earlier in October.

They learned the dumping included several hundred used hypodermic needles, needle boxes, and drug paraphernalia located in a dumpster behind the business. This raises concerns of used needles and the disposal of them around the city.

Police consider this a health hazard as any of the used needles could be carrying highly contagious viruses and spread if someone were pricked by them.

“As a community, we don’t want needles laying around and being thrown carelessly in private business dumpsters,” La Crosse Police Sgt. Tom Walsh said. “Ultimately if you have needles and you need to get rid of them, there are many locations in town where you can do that safely and legally.”

The city has two red drop box locations for people to dispose of used needles for whatever reason. One is at the Great River Boat Landing on Clinton street. The other is near the Market Square Parking Garage on 4th and King Streets.

Health officials want to remind residents do not pick up a found sharp as it could spread a virus to you.Sharp disposal bin

“We absolutely want you to use clean needles and not share them with others because that prevents the disease from spreading from you to someone else,” La Crosse Health Department Director Jen Rombalski said. “So it is always important to be using clean needles no matter what you’re using them for, no matter who you are. You can’t tell if someone has a disease by looking at them.”

The HIV and Hepatitis C virus can live on a surface for a few hours to four days after it was left on it.

If you find a sharp that needs to be disposed of you can call 608-785-5962 and report where the sharp is. You can also view the list of other sharp drop off locations below.

Jeremy Culver

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