Avera St. Luke's Hospital with help from the Chamber of Commerce kicked off a brand new program in Aberdeen on Earth Day that's a first-of-it's-kind for the region. Nancy Naeve Brown tells us its goal is to "Go Green" by being "Sharp Smart".
Dan Woods from Aberdeen is always on the go with his moving company. He's also always cognizant of his blood sugar levels. As a Type 1 diabetic for 24 years he knows how important it is to his health and as a diabetic he also knows before he got his insulin pump he used to go through a lot of syringes.
Dan says, "I would be taking shots 3 to 5 shots a day. I was using lots of needles, lots of sharps, and pricking myself. It was exorbitant amount."
That's why when he found out about Avera St. Luke's new community wide "Go Green" initiative to safely, properly and legally dispose of used needles, syringes and lancets for free he took advantage of it.
Dan says, "In my case, I've got 3 children under the age of 6 who are very curious, wanting to know what dad is always doing and having these containers to put them in and keeping them out of the reach of those prized possessions is a good deal."
One of the great things about having the collection kiosk in the Avera St. Luke's Education Center is the doors are never locked so it's never inconvenient for you to drop off your used sharps.
Marketing Specialist at Avera St. Luke's and Go-Green Team Leader Kellie Ecker says, "Not only is it important to us, it's important to the community. The landfill saw and increased incidence of sharps sticks. People weren't properly disposing of the sharps. They were just throwing them away in the garbage."
And that poses a risk for family members, garbage haulers and landfill workers. There is no chance of people getting pricked with this collection kiosk. The sharps need to be in a sealed gallon (or smaller) container and once it goes in the box, no one can get it out except the medical waste company hired to do so.
Dan says, "Being able to have them contained away from little fingers. That's what's important for me."
And that's what's important to Avera St. Luke's.
The disposal program is free to the public again it's located in the front doors of the Avera St. Luke's Education Center in Aberdeen. You just need to buy the containers. They are only a couple of bucks and can be found at most local Aberdeen drug stores and at Shopko, Walmart and K-Mart.