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Holmes pushes for safe disposal of hazardous medical waste

holmes-sharpsSPRINGFIELD — To improve waste disposal worker safety and prevent the potential spread of disease, State Sen. Linda Holmes has put forth a plan to prohibit the disposal of sharp medical waste with other recyclable materials.

“‘Sharps,’ like syringes, are a fact of life for one out of 12 Illinoisans, and that means one out of 12 Illinoisans are disposing of them somehow,” Holmes said. “We need to ensure that our sanitation workers are not being exposed to potential biohazards as they do their jobs.”

For proper disposal, syringes and other “sharps” should be collected in an appropriate sharps disposal container and can be disposed of in your regular trash. Even when placed in the appropriate plastic container, sharps should never be disposed of with recyclables.

Under the proposal, which passed the Illinois Senate today, disposing of sharp waste like syringes in recycling would be prohibited. It would also permit local government to establish sharps collection points at medical establishments and police or fire stations and to create a U.S. Postal Service-approved sharp waste mail-back program.

The legislation is Senate Bill 793. It proceeds to the House for consideration.

Sen. Linda Holmes

Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes

Assistant Majority Leader
42nd District

Years served: 2007 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture (Vice-Chairperson); Commerce and Economic Development (Chairperson); Executive; Labor; Local Government (Vice-Chairperson); Telecommunications & InfoTechnology.

Biography: Elected to the Senate in 2006; born March 16, 1959, in Chicago; received a bachelor's degree from the National College of Education (now National-Lewis University); First woman president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; Full-time state legislator.

Associated Representatives:
Barbara Hernandez
Stephanie A. Kifowit