All Points Medical Waste Blog

How to Dispose of Sharps Used at Home

A Guide for Safe Disposal

Tens of millions of people around the United States live with diabetes and are tasked not only with self care, but also with properly disposing of sharps. Many diabetics use a variety of items that can cause injury, illness or harm if accidental exposure occurs and because of this it’s imperative that they follow certain steps to protect others when disposing of them. Take a look:

Household Sharps

There are several items used for in-home treatment of diabetes that fall into the sharps category. These include:

  • Needles
  • Syringes
  • Pen needles
  • Lancets 

All of these items must be disposed of in a manner that cannot cause risk to other people, animals or the environment.

What is the Proper Way to Dispose of Sharps at Home?

If you are one of the millions of people who use sharps and similar items at home for medical reasons, there are important disposal safety procedures you should be following. The most important thing to remember is not to throw used needles and other items into the regular trash. This can lead to accidental sticks which can cause an injury, expose someone to bloodborne pathogens and other dangerous outcomes. Instead, it is recommended that diabetic patients take the following steps for safe disposal:

  • Store used sharps in an approved sharps container or a hard plastic container that has a screw on lid such as a an empty detergent bottle
  • Do not place used sharps in glass containers, used coffee cans or aluminum cans
  • Place sharps in the container needle first so the needle is not sticking upwards
  • Keep this container closed and out of reach of children and pets
  • Do not overfill the container

You may throw your container, once sealed with duct tape and labeled “do not recycle, used sharps” into the trash. Do not put it in the recycling bin and be sure it is only half-full and completely sealed.

Where to Take Used Sharps for Disposal

Once your container is half full or on a predetermined date each week or month, it is recommended that you take them to a medical facility that accepts used sharps. Talk to your physician to find out if you are able to bring your sharps to their office for disposal. Many communities also offer mail back programs. Speak with your healthcare provider to get more information.

Managing diabetes at home is challenging for many people and ensuring your sharps are properly and safely disposed of is key. Follow the steps listed above to protect others.

All Points Medical Waste is a family owned and operated company in Stuart, Florida. We provide comprehensive medical waste disposal services throughout South Florida. Give us a call today or fill out this form to learn more.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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