[Pharmwaste] FW: Sharps collection - Sioux Falls and Minnehaha and surrounding counties

Heidi Sanborn Heidi at calpsc.org
Tue Aug 2 11:58:22 EDT 2016

More examples of what works in North Dakota and why.  If we had a sustainable funding source by producers we could do this nationally and have an effective national program.

Thanks to Tom Erickson for the information.


Heidi Sanborn | Executive Director
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C: (916) 402-3911 | heidi at nsaction.us<mailto:heidi at nsaction.us>

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From: Tom Erickson [mailto:t.ericksonn at me.com]
Sent: Monday, August 1, 2016 6:48 PM
To: Volkman, Jennifer (MPCA) <jennifer.volkman at state.mn.us<mailto:jennifer.volkman at state.mn.us>>
Cc: Heidi Sanborn <Heidi at calpsc.org<mailto:Heidi at calpsc.org>>
Subject: Re: Sharps collection


It’s good to hear from you again.

Sioux Falls has a program which has been running for over 15 years.  It is, without a doubt, the most successful program in the United States.  It was estimated many years years ago, based on sharps sales and containers returned, it had about a 90% compliance rate.  This is phenomenal.  After the program was implemented, the required landfill inspections noted that the presence of sharps waste in their landfill plummeted to lowest in the United States.

The question is, with such a long running success, why hasn’t Sioux Falls been copied by others?

The Sioux Falls program has two essential elements:
1- Free sharps containers
2- Point-of-purchase (pharmacy) return

Minnehaha County used to pay for the sharps containers.  The web site below indicates it now could be the City of Sioux Falls.  According to the web site, it also has grown to a multi-county program.


The pharmacies host the program as a free public service.

When I last studied their program, the disposal was done, free-of-charge, by the local VA.  That may have changed since that time because of pressure from the companies in the medical waste business.  I would suggest your call Sioux Falls and/or Minnehaha County to get the latest information.  No place else in the U.S. is even close to Sioux Falls' phenomenal success.

Best Regards,


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