Tucsonans increasingly disposing syringes improperly

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Imagine sorting through recycling waste and coming across syringes. It happens often.

In fact, over 600,000 people are injured each year by improperly disposed syringes.

In tucson, the problem is growing.

A lot of "stuff" makes its way to waste management on tucson's west side. But among the piles of paper, cardboard, and plastic, used needles are popping up more frequently than ever.

A local Waste Management facility collected about 400 needles by the end of the week.  That's as many needles as they saw the whole month of december.

One worker says they collected over 240 needles Thursday alone.

"It ends up on our lines and its a threat to our employees," said Carrie Galvan from Waste Management.

When workers spot needles on the line, the plant slows down.

"They stop the line and we have trained responders who come out ot help cary out that medical waste," said Galvin.

Lately, the lines have jerked to a stop seven or eight times a day.

"It does slow us down," said Galvin.

But there's several things residents can do to keep the lines moving.  Place all used needles in a secure plastic puncture proof container.  Never use glass containers and because it's non-recyclable, put it in the trash.

Waste Management partners with the City of Tucson and say both parties have been seeing the same increase in used needles over the last few months.