Van Buren and Cass County residents can now dispose of used hypodermic needles, syringes, and lancets, more commonly referred to as “sharps” at the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department offices located at 260 South Street Lawrence, MI 49064 and 302 South Front Street, Dowagiac MI 49047.
These collection sites intend to provide residents a convenient and safe place for free, proper disposal of their sharps.
Proof of residency is required.
What can you bring?
Residents of Van Buren and Cass Counties must bring their sharps in a TIGHTLY SEALED, PUNCTURE-PROOF container.
Only the following containers will be accepted:
- A medical sharps container,
- Heavy-duty plastic laundry detergent jug with a tight-fitting lid
- Metal or hard plastic coffee can with a secure lid.
All lids should be tight and secure, and taped with duct or sealing tape for extra protection.
2023 Collection Dates & Locations
Cass County: 302 S. Front St. Dowagiac, MI 49047
- Thursday, March 9, 2023 from 9-11am & 1-4pm
- Thursday, June 1, 2023 from 9-11am & 1-4pm
- Thursday, August 24, 2023 from 9-11am & 1-4pm
Van Buren County: 260 South Street Lawrence, MI 49047
- Thursday, March 23, 2023 from 9-11am & 1-4pm
- Thursday, June 15, 2023 from 9-11am & 1-4pm
- Thursday, September 7, 2023 from 9-11am & 1-4pm
DO NOT BRING
- DO NOT BRING Sharps mixed with other materials.
- DO NOT BRING Individual or loose sharps, milk jugs, plastic juice containers, plastic bags or cardboard boxes. These items WILL NOT be accepted.
- DO NOT BRING Pills, liquids, and other medications in sharps containers. These items WILL NOT be accepted.
Residents bringing their sharps in something other than those listed as accepted will be refused.
**At this time, only 2 Sharp containers per household, will be accepted.
Research has documented that syringes remain infectious for prolonged periods. Safe disposal sites reduce:
- Sharing of syringes,
- Circulation time of syringes,
- Percentage of contaminated syringes in circulation, and
- Risk of exposure/needle stick injuries
The use of sharps presents an opportunity for cuts, abrasions, and puncture wounds. Two of the most common causes of needle sticks are re-capping needles and improper disposal of needles. All needle sticks, and other sharps injuries, carry the risk of secondary infections in addition to exposure to the needle’s contents and/or contamination on the outside of the needle or other sharp instruments. Sharps usage may also represent a risk of exposure to infectious agents or other hazardous materials via sprays and aerosols – particularly from non-needle-locking syringes.
Medical facilities, schools and businesses should still utilize their existing medical disposal services to dispose of sharps used at their location. The new sharps collection service at the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department is for residents utilizing sharps for personal use outside of a medical facility, school or business.
Residents should never put sharps into their recycling or regular household trash. Non-residents should reach out to their local health department within their community for safe disposal options.