Text reads " Advocacy in Action: Why Public Bio Hazard Bins are Important". Photo shows two outreach workers smiling near a Medicine Hat bio bin, attached to a garbage can.

Advocacy in Action: Why Public Bio Hazard Bins are Important

Alisha OstbergBlog, drug use, prevention

In the heart of Medicine Hat’s downtown core, SafeLink Alberta has worked with the City of Medicine Cat to add a crucial addition to public amenities: biohazard bins, also known as sharps containers. Spearheaded by SafeLink Alberta, this initiative aims to enhance public safety by providing a dedicated disposal solution for used needles and other sharps, mitigating the risks of injury and infection.

Bio bin attached to a garbage can in a public Medicine Hat park.

What are Biohazard Bins?

Bio bins are robust receptacles crafted from heavy-duty plastic. Explicitly designed for safely disposing of needles and other sharp objects, they feature tight-fitting lids to prevent spillage and leakage. These containers are sturdy and resistant to leaks, ensuring maximum safety during handling and transportation.

Bio bins are used to dispose of potentially biohazardous material safely. Items like:

  • Needles, glass pipes, cookers, mouthpieces
  • Condoms
  • Tattooing or piercing equipment
  • Diabetes equipment such as lancets
  • Blades (razor, scalpel, knives, scissors)
  • Glass (bottles, vials, ampoules)
  • Metal (nails, screws, scraps, pins, wire, clamps, staples)
  • Anything that can cut the skin

Bio bins are essential for safer disposal of biohazardous materials, which may cause disease in humans. Biohazardous materials require special disposal procedures because of the environmental impact and risk of harming a person.

Where are the Biohazard Bins?

There are two containers in downtown Medicine Hat. One is located in Veterans Park, on 1st Street and 6th Ave, and the other is in Batus Park, on 2nd Street and 6th Ave.

Google map of bio bin locations in Medicine Hat

The Importance of Public Placement

Much like traditional garbage bins, public biohazard bins encourage responsible disposal practices. Individuals are more likely to safely dispose of their used materials when readily available, minimizing the potential hazards posed by discarded sharps.

Without designated disposal points, hazardous materials often find their way into ordinary trash cans or onto the ground.

The Critical Role of Bio Hazard Bins

SafeLink Alberta’s advocacy for biohazard bins in Medicine Hat parks underscores our proactive approach to public health and safety. By providing accessible and secure disposal options for sharps, this initiative protects individuals from potential harm and contributes to the community’s overall well-being.

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