Media Advisory: Governor LePage, Maine Department of Environmental Protection To Launch Statewide Safe Sharps Disposal Campaign Friday

September 3, 2012

Contact: Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Director of Communications & Education / 287-5842 (office) or 592-0427 (cell)

-At a press conference at an Augusta Rite Aid Friday, the two will also announce several generous industry donations that will help the State educate thousands of Mainers and provide them free sharps disposal resources-

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage and Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho will inject their support this Friday into a collaborative campaign created to help the many Mainers who use medical sharps better protect public and environmental health.

Each year, tens of thousands of Mainers use millions of sharps at home to control medical conditions like diabetes, arthritis and allergies. Stockpiling of used sharps in the home or improper disposal into the trash or toilet puts the user and their family, janitorial and solid waste staff, and the general public at risk for accidental and painful needle sticks that can lead to infection, tetanus and transmission of diseases.

With support from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and private sector partners like Becton, Dickinson and Company, Rite Aid Pharmacies and Waste Management, DEP will embark on a statewide campaign to educate sharps users about simple and safe containment and disposal steps that ensure public and environmental health are protected.

At the campaign kick-off, to be held from 10:30 to 11 a.m. at Rite Aid Pharmacy at 2007 North Belfast Ave. in Augusta, the Governor, DEP Commissioner and industry, public health and legislative partners will announce the details of the initiative, including several generous industry donations that will help the State educate thousands of Mainers and provide them resources to safely contain and dispose of their sharps.

The media is encouraged to attend and Commissioner Aho and partners will be available for one-on-one interviews following the formal event. Because this event is being held in an active pharmacy, members of the media are asked to please respect the privacy rights of Rite Aid customers who may be dropping off or picking up prescriptions during the event.

For details or to confirm your attendance, please contact Samantha DePoy-Warren, DEP’s Director of Communications & Education, at or 287-5842.

WHO: Governor Paul R. LePage; Maine DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho and staff; Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Sheila Pinette; Sen. Tom Saviello and Rep. Jim Hamper, co-chairs of the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources; and representatives from partners including Becton, Dickinson and Company and Rite Aid Pharmacies.

WHERE: Rite Aid Pharmacy, 2007 North Belfast Ave. (Route 9/202 – across from Augusta Seafood), Augusta

WHEN: 10:30 to 11 a.m., Friday, Sept. 7