Did you know that one in every ten Americans has diabetes? And that number is only increasing as time goes on. As a result, more and more people use sharps containers to dispose of their needles and other medical waste. If you have a sharps container and wondering how to dispose of sharps containers! This blog post will discuss how to dispose of your sharps container safely.
Best Ways to Dispose of Sharps Containers
There are several means of disposing of a sharps disposal container. Check with your local trash removal service or the health department (listed in the city or county government (blue) pages in your phone book) for safe sharp waste disposal programs available in your region, or look online for suitable sharps disposal solutions.
Place All Needles in a Sharps Disposal Container
Keep the disposal container at least one inch away from your body. This will minimize the risk of needle sticks, cuts, and punctures from loose sharps. Children and pets should be prevented from access to sharps disposal containers.
Overfilling a sharps disposal container might result in accidental needlestick injury. When your sharps disposal container is three-quarters (3/4) full, follow your community’s guidelines for disposing of the container. Sharps disposal containers should not be reused.
DropBox or Supervised Collection Sites
Sharps disposal containers may be dropped off at collection sites, such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies, health departments, medical waste facilities, and police or fire stations. Services are either free or cost a minimal amount of money.
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sites
Local public housekeeping hazardous waste collection sites may accept your sharps disposal containers. These locations also commonly take hazardous materials like cleaners, paints, and motor oil.
Specific FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers may be mailed to a collection site for proper disposal. This service generally entails a charge. Depending on the size of the container, fees vary widely. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines with the disposal device, as these programs may have specific mailing requirements.
Residential Special Waste Pickup Services
Pickup services companies may use a sharps disposal container acceptable to the pickup service, either given to you by the pickup services business or one you already own, depending on company policy for pick up. The container is positioned outside of the house for collection by trained special waste handlers. Some programs demand that customers call for pickup, while others provide regular pickups at designated times.
Janitors, maids, pest control employees, groundskeepers, waste collectors, and children or pet dogs are just a few professions that may be harmed by unclean sharps disposal. Hand-sorting recyclable material out of trash is done in approximately 25% to 45% of all businesses in California that recycle garbage (besides recycling).
Why Is It Important?
A needlestick acquired by a single employee may result in weeks or months of taking medication to prevent the infection from spreading, along with adverse effects such as nausea, sadness, and excessive tiredness. Also, consider that there are different types of blood tests available to discover whether you have contracted life-threatening HIV/AIDs or hepatitis B or C. According to a 2008 research, “nationwide each year 25%…or about 150,000 to 200,000 needlesticks occurred outside the health services industry for $38 million.”
What about the King County Needle Exchange?
The King County Needle Exchange provides new, sterile syringes and disposal containers for used syringes to drug users throughout the county. They also accept used needles and sharps disposal containers from anyone in the community.
There are three needle exchange locations in Seattle:
– The Downtown Public Health Center at 1200 12th Ave S on Capitol Hill (open M-F, 11 am-12:30 pm).
– The Northgate Public Health Center at 10548 Fifth Ave NE in Northgate (open Tu/Th, 11 am-12:30 pm).
– The SoDo Public Health Center at 2700 First Ave S near downtown (open M/W/F, 11 am-12:30 pm).
All needle exchange sites are open to anyone who wants to dispose of used needles and sharps, regardless of whether or not they are participating in the needle exchange program.
Improperly disposing of sharps can harm the environment and yourself, and others. Be sure to follow the guidelines set by your community to keep everyone safe.
What are some everyday items in a sharps container?
Common items in a sharps container include needles, syringes, and lancets.
How should I label my sharps container?
You should label your sharps container with “Do Not Recycle – Sharps Container.” This will ensure that the waste disposal company knows how to dispose of your sharps container properly.
How often should I empty my sharps container?
You should empty your sharps container when it is complete or when you have reached the expiration date on the container.
Where can I get a sharps container?
You can usually purchase a sharps container at your local pharmacy or online.