Sharps Containers in Public Places, Especially at Colleges and Universities

I have been wondering this every since I started college again. I’ve noticed that public places, not like grocery stores or little stores with no public restrooms, but more like universities do not offer sharps containers for their diabetic students. I attend the University of Phoenix-Salt Lake City division in Taylorsville UT. There is two campuses that I have been for the UOP’s campuses, one is the main campus located in Murray UT but is called Salt Lake City because its easier to find and then the other one is my main campus in Taylorsville UT. Neither one of these campuses offer sharps containers and I’ve been wondering if other colleges and universities are the same way. I could ask my husband about the University of Utah since that where he attends for his Master’s degree but then again I bet he’d tell me that they dont have any. I bet his sister would tell me the same thing about the Weber State University in Ogden Ut. Is it just UT campuses that are this way or are all campuses around the country this way? I guess its not really a gripe, well it is but its also a question.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this. I also think that they should be offered in public eating establishments in the bathrooms. Some of the doctors’ that I have been too only have them in the doctors office but not in the restrooms. I would think that a place like Utah’s Diabetes Center which is supposed to be one of the top diabetes centers in the state would also offer this.

(taken from my blog at

I remember when I was attending a community college in Waterloo, Iowa to get my Associates degree in Web Development. They had sharps containers in their bathrooms in the main building (basically where all your business was taken care of), but not in other bathrooms around campus. The community college I am speaking of is Hawkeye Community College. Now I’m not for sure if they have them still or not since the last time I was there was December 2005 when I graduated, but shouldn’t all buildings offer them, not just one?

Updated on May 8th, 2008

I found your blog over at DiabetesCentral and commented there, so I’ll just run the basics. Most places I know do not have public sharps disposals anywhere. The few exceptions are the bathrooms at McCarren Airport (Las Vegas, NV), and some of the bathrooms at the rest areas along the Garden State Parkway (New Jersey). It is a pleasant surprise when I do find public sharps disposal capability, and I always comment positively about it.

I do expect sharps disposal capability in medical settings (doctor’s offices, hospitals, etc.); the lack of same at a sleep center in the local hospital prompted a quick trip to the Patient Advocate’s office.

I expect the availability of sharps-disposal facilities to increase as more people become dependent upon injectable medications and as more people with diabetes are encouraged to use self-testing as a method of blood glucose level management. Political and social issues that could stand in the way of this are drug paraphernalia laws and the social stigma still associated with HIV (another disease whose management may require injectable medications at odd times).

I live in NC and recently attended our community college and noticed they had containers in EVERY bathroom in all the buildings I was ever in. They also put great effort into making accomadations for people with special needs~ Recently,I have noticed most places, including grocery stores, Wal-Mart, K-Mart etc have them and I live in a fairly rural area. You would think it would be an employee saftey hazard for NOT having the containers. My question is who would empty those containers and dispose of the contents? Is there a special service company that does that?
I would pose the question to the campus administration. Maybe they don’t have them because it has never been brought to their attention.