sharps-recycling.jpg Needles and other medical sharps are commonly necessary for many medical procedures, but plenty of people are unsure of what is the most sanitary and proper way to throw them out. Safe disposal is important because medical sharps can be dangerous to handle if they are contaminated. Aside from needles, medical sharps can include syringes, lancets, auto injectors and more. Medical sharps should never be disposed of in trashcans or recycling bins at home or in public, and they should absolutely never be flushed down the toilet as well. The Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal has set up guidelines to inform citizens how to discard their clean or nonhazardous contaminated medical sharps. Here are some options.
  • If you have a specially designated container, you can put your used medical sharps inside and mail it to special collection sites for disposal. There may be a fee for doing this depending on the size of the container.
  • A few different places operate as collection sites to accept discarded shops. These commonly include doctors’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies and fire stations. These services are typically free, but sometimes incur a small fee.
  • Contact The North American Syringe Exchange Network at 253.272.4857 to safely exchange used needles for new ones.
  • Some manufacturers sell devices that will sever, burn or melt your medical sharps so they can be safely disposed.
If the medical sharps are biohazardous, radioactive or chemically contaminated, the process will be a little different. These medical sharps should be put in a container with the proper label — typically a biohazard label or radioactive tape. Contact your local Environment, Health & Safety Department for pickup or other assistance. If medical sharps are not properly disposed, any person who comes in contact with them is at a health risk. Therefore, learning the right way to dispose of them is important for anyone who requires them.