The Brown County Sharps Disposal Program was organized in 1996 to protect sanitation workers and others from needle sticks from used sharps. A needle stick can cause injuries, transmit possibly life-threatening disease, undue health care expenses, and emotional distress to the injured person and his/her family, among other concerns.
The Brown County Sharps Disposal Program was developed in response to a law developed in the mid-1990s which no longer allowed disposal of used sharps in landfills or garbage. The program needed to come up with a plan which was as easy and no costlier than disposal at curbside.
The Brown County Sharps Disposal Program accepts used sharps at over thirty sites (sharps collection sites) across the county. Most of the sites are either pharmacies or hospitals. At these stations, users can pick up a sticker and pamphlet and dispose of their used sharps in puncture-proof containers such as empty detergent bottles or sharps containers. Program stickers must be attached to the container, and instructions followed that include securing the lid, wiping off residue, and placing the container in a plastic bag for delivery to the sharps collection site.
There is no fee to the public for using the program. The program is restricted to household users.
The program is coordinated by the Brown County Solid Waste and the Brown County Public Health Division.