Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Roth votes to lift restrictions on sharps containers
RELEASE|June 25, 2024
Contact: John Roth

State Rep. John Roth on Tuesday voted in support of a plan to increase flexibility for facilities that house medical waste disposal containers for sharps. The bill, which passed the House with bipartisan support, extends the time facilities can leave an underutilized sharps container in place before replacing them.

Sharps containers are commonly found in public restrooms. The containers are generally used by people with diabetes or others who frequently use sharps like syringes.

“Replacing sharps container can be expensive. Low-traffic or rural facilities are constantly frustrated by burdensome requirements that force them to replace sharps containers that may have only been used once or twice,” said Roth, R-Interlochen. “These pressures can lead to less access to sharps containers in rural areas because of the financial burden of replacement.”

Under current law, sharps containers must be emptied every 90 days, even if the containers remain near empty. The requirement has led to increased costs for low-traffic facilities, especially sharps container providers in rural areas, who are forced to replace underutilized containers more frequently.

SB 482 would allow a sharps container to be in place for up to 18 months from the disposal of the first sharps waste if the container is not more than three-quarters of the way filled.

“By broadening these requirements, we’re ensuring the people who provide access to these containers aren’t wasting money to unnecessarily replace nearly empty containers,” Roth said. “The hope is that people in rural areas will see these changes and decide to offer sharps disposal access because they are no longer frequently required to replace underused containers.”

The plan now returns to the Senate for further consideration.


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