FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How are medical sharps disposed of?
Medical sharps are potentially hazardous and infectious medical supplies like used syringes. These can be very dangerous if anyone else comes into contact with them. To eliminate this risk, medical sharps must be disposed of in a sharps container. This is a container in which syringes can be tossed securely because the container locks to prevent the sharps from being touched by anyone else. They are then sent to medical waste facilities where the sharps are separated and rendered non-infectious. They are then incinerated. This is the safest way to dispose of microbiological waste including syringes and other supplies that have been in contact with bodily fluids.
How do I dispose of sharps and needles at home?
If you are using needles at home, it is highly recommended that you don’t throw them away in the garbage. The safest thing to do is sharp container disposal. All of your needle and syringe combination products should be safely discarded into a sharps container. If you use insulin syringes regularly, those should also be discarded in the sharps container. You can then have them sent back to your local hospital or pharmacy and they will ensure the container is sent to the appropriate facility for incineration.
Are needle disposal boxes reusable?
A needle disposal box is used for disposing of one-time-use syringes and other products, but the box itself is not always disposable. In an effort to reduce the use of one-time-use plastics, some types of needle disposal boxes are thoroughly disinfected by medical facilities that specialize in discarding medical equipment. Once the container has been adequately sterilized, it is then returned to the original source for a second use. To ensure your safety, do not attempt to disinfect the container yourself. It should always be sent to a proper medical facility.
Why are sharps disposal containers usually red?
Sharps disposal containers are very often red but they are not exclusively available in red. They sometimes come in yellow or white with a red label on them instead. The red is basically a signal to everyone that the contents inside the bin are hazardous. Sharps disposal bins must be leakproof with a puncture-proof lid. This ensures maximum safety and prevents anyone handling the bin from accidental contamination.
Do I need to take my disposal box to a medical waste facility?
Yes, sharps disposal containers need to be taken to a medical waste facility. This is the safest way to dispose of hazardous materials like bodily fluids and other microbiological waste. If you are unable to get your sharp container to a medical waste facility, you can also bring it to your local hospital or pharmacy to have them send it over to the appropriate facility. Do not attempt to open the bin and clean it yourself and never put microbiological waste in the trash. A sharps disposal box is the safest option.
What type of medical supplies are disposed of in a sharps container?
Any elements that have come into contact with a human being’s bodily fluids should be disposed of in a sharps container. Needle and syringe combination products should always be placed in a sharps container. Hypodermic needles can and should be disposed of in a sharps container as well. Syringes, scalpels, lancets, and wires (including dental wires) can also be disposed of in a sharps container. If you are unsure whether or not a product belongs in the sharps container, you can also contact your local medical waste facility for clarification. Generally speaking, anything that has come into contact with human fluids like blood or saliva, for example, should be placed in a sharps container.
MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER
The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.