Schwarzenegger Signs Bill To Allow Local Governments To Create New Syringe Collection Programs
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Friday signed a bill (SB 1362) that will allow local governments to incorporate in their hazardous waste collection initiatives to dispose of syringes used by people with diabetes or other chronic illnesses outside of medical settings, the San Mateo County Times reports. According to the Times, such items often are discarded in household trash and later community waste sites, where they can place sanitation workers and the public at risk of needle-stick injuries or infections. Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), who sponsored the legislation, said that the law "solves a very real problem. California has the nation's most comprehensive hazardous and medical waste laws, which apply to large commercial activities. However, we lack proper guidelines for individual households." Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson said that the law will "allow counties ... to develop a more comprehensive plan to deal with these used needles" (San Mateo County Times, 7/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.