Diabetics on campus will soon have a safe place to discard needles.
A proposal to install biohazard “sharps containers” in campus restrooms was recently passed by the Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College. The initial cost of the project is estimated at $2,200, according to Alexandra Bresler, ASCOCC events and activities director.
Bresler proposed the project to the council after a diabetic friend approached her about the issue.
“We don’t have a resource for students who use insulin,” Bresler said. “Airports have [sharps containers], museums have them, why doesn’t our school have them?”
The plastic needle receptacles are used to ensure minimum exposure to blood and pathogens from used needles, according to Bresler.
Campus Public Safety supervisor Seth Elliot had been considering the issue as part of a campus-wide “exposure control” plan when he was approached by Bresler.
“It fit in with the momentum,” Elliot said. “It is something that we were all researching together.”
The new measure will provide a safer alternative than garbage cans, which, according to Elliot, have been occasionally reported to Campus Public Safety.
“[The sharps containers] will decrease the calls to public safety,” Elliot said. “It has a lot of upside to a lot of departments.”
Without the effort of Bresler and the council this project would not have happened so quickly, according to Elliot.
“It is a good example of student and interdepartmental cooperation,” Elliot said. “Everybody worked quickly and effectively to get this pushed through. I was glad it was a student project.”
The exact number of containers is yet to be determined, and cost of operation is expected to be minimal. Elliot is hopeful the sharps containers will be installed by fall 2013.