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Starbucks will add safe needle disposal boxes in some locations

Erie County Health Commissioner celebrates move

April 23, 2019 - 9:08 pm

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - Starbucks is announcing plans to add safe boxes in bathrooms at some if its locations.  The coffee giant says the addition of the so-called 'sharp boxes' will help ensure customer and employee safety.

Starbucks educates its employees on how to safely handle potentially dangerous waste at its locations and many employees have signed petitions asking the company to add the disposal boxes.

"We are very excited that Starbucks is joining the many businesses throughout Western New York and throughout the country that are offering safe needle disposal for their patrons to use", says Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein.  In a WBEN News interview, Dr. Burstein told us, "this is something we've been doing in Erie County for many years....we have these sharp containers in many police stations".  The county has also worked with many businesses to add sharp containers at their sites as well.

"This is really a great opportunity to keep our community healthy", explains Dr. Burstein.  Many people are forced to inject needed medications away from their homes and are in need of safe disposal sites. 

When asked about whether the addition of these disposal sites enables illicit drug use, Burstein told WBEN, "since I've been Health Commissioner, I have not received any reports of adverse consequences from these disposal kiosks for needles and syringes".

Bursteins says this is not something that will enable illicit drug use and says those injections will be happening whether or not there are sharp boxes available or not.  The availability of the safe disposal sites makes the community safer by preventing the spread of dangerous infections through exposure to used needles and syringes.

Dr. Burstein says it's important the community is aware of where safe disposal is offered and suggests using The Point website to locate safe needle disposal sites.



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