Needles Threaten Highway Cleaners

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Shawnee County officials are working to protect recycling crews from discarded hypodermic needles and syringes.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports needles and syringes are making their way into county recycling and posing a danger to recycling employees. Philicia McKee, executive director of Keep America Beautiful Topeka/Shawnee County, says the sharp objects can stab employees or break open up and contaminate recycling.

The organization is planning to give out biohazard boxes for residents to use when they discard the sharp objects. The boxes come with the help of a $5,000 grant.

The program allows Shawnee County residents to pick up a container for sharp items such as syringes or medical needles while supplies last, and return it to the recycling area.