Putnam County authorities investigate after 500 used needles found in ditch


Photo courtesy of Putnam County Sheriff’s Department

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PUTNAM COUNTY, Ind. – Putnam County authorities cleaned up a major safety concern over the weekend—500 used needles were dumped in a residential area.

Greencastle resident and former sheriff’s deputy Mike Johnson discovered the hypodermic needles and other diabetic supplies in a ditch along Albin Pond Road just west of Round Barn Road on Saturday, according to the Greencastle Banner-Graphic.

Putnam County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Boller responded to the scene, and he collected more than 500 needles with Johnson. Boller said at least half of them were uncapped and still had blood on them.

Authorities told the Greencastle Banner-Graphic that they do not believe the needles are linked to illicit drug use because they found diabetic testing supplies with them.

However, the fact that these needles were improperly disposed of is still a safety concern.

“It’s a huge safety issue for kids, and for people walking down that road,” Boller told the Greencastle Banner-Graphic.

No criminal activity is suspected in the case, and authorities want to use this as an example of how to properly dispose of syringes and blood-testing lancets.

According to the FDA, used sharps should be disposed of in an FDA-cleared sharps container. If one is not available, a heavy-duty plastic household container can be used as an alternative.

All sharps disposal containers should be made of a heavy-duty plastic; able to close with a tight-fitting, puncture-resistant lid, without sharps being able to come out; upright and stable during use; leak-resistant; and properly labeled to warn of hazardous waste inside the container.

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