What do you do with your sharps?

I know we have talked about this topic before, but it bears bringing up again for new people and for those who still don’t know what to do. I asked my pharmacist if they took sharps, lancets, syringes etc…and he me they didn’t a this particular pharmacy. So I checked around, our hospital will take them if in a proper container. Wasn’t there a site where you could request a container on the “FREE STUFF” discussion? But what if you can’t get a “proper container”? Then what? So I called several pharmacies in our area, and none of them take the sharps. My garbage company doesn’t want them…and another no from the recycle people. So what do you do, any suggestions that don’t cost of fortune? I want to do the right things, but this is getting tough.

Funny you ask right now, because I just filled my gallon container five minutes ago! In my area we are in a catch 22. It is illegal to dump sharps, but they don’t make it easy to properly dispose. No pharmacies take them, nor does my vet (my cat is on subQ fluids). Nobody gives you free containers. There are hazardous disposal sites but they are a pain to get to if you don’t have a car, which I don’t. So I was told a good compromise is to fill a gallon jug like a plastic detergent jug. Then write “sharps” all over it in red marker. Then seal the top with tape and put it in a garbage bag. (not recycling, just regular garbage) Nobody is likely to accidentally touch it when it’s in a garbage bag, and if they open the bag for some odd reason they will see the hazard warnings. Not perfect but I feel ok about it.

I stash them in empty plastic bottles and smuggle them into my doctor’s office and ditch them in their sharps thing while I’m waiting for the doctor…

Does anyone use a needle clipper? I’ve just been recapping my syringes and doing what Zoe has suggested. Those are basically the guidelines in my area for disposal, but clipping the needles just seems safer.

I find it interesting (not the word I want to use) that hospitals will not take them, nor clinics and dispose of them with the ones that they use. It seems that would be a lot safer. Acidrock23, I like your idea…after all if they can’t provide you with an alternative, why not use their disposal.

any one else have ideas?

You can leave for your trash hauler in home or apartment , I used empty laudry detergent containers and when filled (I ussally have 3-4 bottles) then, I tape up and MARK IN BLACK MAGIC MARKER “SHARPS” medical trash & place in box separte from trash /and leave next to They no matter what state you are in they are required to take because they (TRASH HAULERS) have a bigger an standard SHARPS CONTAINER they must have medical waste in place at the vehicle storage site!!!

I recently took a ton of them to the dump. They have a hazardous waste area that takes them for free 2 days a week. This is in California, don’t know about other states.

I get a sharps contaier, and when it is filled, brimg it to my local hospital (also where I work - but they will take anhone’s) and they dispose of it…they also take any properly sealed container (as in a sealed laundry detergent container, etc), I would NEVER place sharps in the garbage - I would feel TERRIBLY guiky if a garbage worker got stuck because oe me,and didn’t know I was really clean - they don’t know who’s sharp stuck them. ANd they have to live with that fear (just as I would if I get stuck with an unkown sharp). I get my sharps containers from the supply company (mail order) that I get my strips and lancets from.

the problem with this is most garbage is compacted for transport, which will potentially rupture the container.

Where I live the local council provides free sharps containers, and has a drop off point at the council offices for full ones.

They dont put in compactor…(illegal) to place ! They tyipcally place in their cab or a box inside their cab then they take those items after there day is done working and place in medical waste container!!! I ve talk with ours and that what they and others do… My quess they are not picking up TONS/POUNDS of medical waste very little if any on a daily bases…e.g. example I place mine in a 3-4 clothes detergent bottles (small ) and into grocery bag or small small box maybe 1 1/2’ (w) X 1 1/2’ (d) x 6" (h) takes up very very very litlle room or impedes their area

I remember when I was in Arizona it was legal to throw them in the trash.

I know that where I live an acceptable container is either a sharps container, or a used laundry detergent bottle (because the plastic is so thick). If I use the laundry detergent bottle (which I often do), I just have to tape the cap on and lab it ‘SHARPS - BIOHAZARDOUS’ before taking it to a drop off point (there is a hospital and a Walgreens in my area that take them).

Our different Pharmacies(you have to be a Client) have been giving us free biohazard containers for a long time to fill with syringes and left-over drugs. I noticed in the Hospital bathrooms there are syringe containers hanging on the walls also. There are some places throughout the city that have containers where we can put syringes in too. I’ve never needed to use them though.

I always have fun when I’m traveling and come to a gas station or rest stop that has a Sharps container. They are becoming more common. I probably look like a nut standing the bathroom shoving all my Sharps from my travels so far into the container, but it helps me cut down on what I’m carrying around until I get home!

I do this too :slight_smile: when I don’t carry a mini sharps container with me. I sometimes use a small 20 0z soda bottle for travel and then transfer the sharps into my larger container at home.

i’ve been throwing them in the trash since diagnosis, like, i don’t remember how long ago. they are reasonably protected in the plastic packaging that they come in. why should needles be treated any different than, say, glass from a broken plate or something? I don’t have a communicable disease. if the city ever tries to do something to me about it, i will sue the ■■■■ out of them in federal court. there is no logical reason for sharps not contaminated with a communicable disease to be treated differently than any other sharp object thrown into the trash.

The point is though that if a garbage collector is pricked, he or she has to pay for HIV testing (which can’t necessarily pick anything up for 3-6 months after exposure in many cases) and go through psychological duress not knowing if they were pricked by something infected. Sharps have always been considered biohazardous waste.

What about using a needle clipper? They are very small and neat and will clip the needle. Then you replace the inner and outer caps and discard in the rubbish, though you might like to put them in a small, non see through paper bag and wrap and put them in the middle of all the trash.

Having said that you could also buy a sharps box from most pharmacies. There was a time that we could not get them on prescription from my surgery but had to buy them. The cost about £1.95 to buy in the UK, but that is expensive.

i throw them in the trash too. i have no idea what the relevant laws are but i am certain they are not enforceable (although i don’t think i could sue them in federal court, both because the law is probably kosher and because you can’t generally sue state officials enforcing a state law in federal court :p). i feel OK about this because i always screw the cap back on, my trash goes into a dumpster behind my apartment, and the dumpster is emptied by an automatic arm attached to the trash truck. the chance of a sanitation worker getting stuck with one of my needles AND not being stuck by another person’s needle (which would require him to get the same testing done and cause the same psychological duress) is so remote that i feel OK putting them in the trash.