Erie County leaders have unveiled a new dual-purpose kiosk that will make it easier for people to get rid of syringes, medical waste and unwanted medications.

County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein and Sheriff Timothy Howard in introducing the Expanded Syringe Access Program kiosks this week at Erie Community College City Campus. The kiosks will be placed at 11 sites throughout the county.

Funding from the state Health Department is helping county health officials to purchase the kiosks and the containers for needles inside them. The Sheriff’s Office maintains the kiosks, destroys the drugs and turns the medical wastes and needles over to the county Health Department for disposal.

“Needles and sharps should be treated with the utmost caution in order to prevent unnecessary exposures,” Poloncarz said. “Also, no one should flush medications down the toilet, thereby contaminating our drinking water supply, or leave them in their medicine cabinet where they could be stolen. These kiosks provide a safe way for residents to dispose of these potentially dangerous items.”