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How to Dispose of Sharps Containers: Safe, Effective Methods



July 16, 2021



How to Dispose of Sharps Containers: Safe, Effective Methods

How to Dispose of Sharps Containers. Sharps are not only dangerous for potential injuries, but if not disposed of correctly, they can cause the transmission of deadly diseases to people, animals, and the environment. Sharps are used in home, work, and in healthcare and ensuring proper disposal of sharps in secure containers is a priority in maintaining safety against infectious diseases. 

To avoid injuries, sharps containers should never be filled past the ¾ point.  The goal for appropriate disposal of sharps containers is to make sure that the sharps are destroyed to the point where there is no potential for infection transmission and the resulting refuge can be disposed of in approved landfills.

FDA-Cleared Sharps Containers

How to Dispose of Sharps Containers. The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) indicates a list of criteria for sharps containers. There are FDA-cleared sharps containers that comply with these requirements that can be purchased at various medical supply companies, pharmacies, online, and healthcare providers. FDA-cleared sharps containers should:

FDA-cleared sharps containers are available in a variety of sizes, including smaller containers for use during travel.

Alternatives to the purchased FDA-cleared sharps containers can include rigid, sturdy plastic bottles such as laundry detergent containers that have tops that can be tightly sealed.

How to Dispose of Sharps Containers: Safe Sharps Containers Disposal

Organizations and companies that generate sharps arrange to have the containers picked up and properly disposed of by a licensed, professional medical waste disposal company such as Healthcare Waste Management.  Once picked up, these containers are taken to disposal facilities where they are sterilized and rendered harmless.

Private use sharps container disposal will be dependent upon the local and state options. Some communities offer supervised drop off/collection points where the containers will then be taken to a facility for safe destruction. Other areas offer waste disposal collection sites that allow individual drop-off, and they will be responsible for complying with regulations for proper and safe destruction.  There are also mail-back programs that must comply with US Postal Service regulations that may involve fees to use.  

In-home, work, and travel sharps containers may be available via health insurance carriers, some pharmaceutical companies at no/reduced charges. Check with your individual provider to see if any of these options are applicable. In some cases, some pharmaceutical companies may also offer mail-back programs.  There are also designated hospitals that have approved, licensed disposal facilities that make themselves available for the public to drop off their approved sharps containers for disposal/destruction.

Cost-Effective: Healthcare Waste Management

The best option for sharps container disposal for a healthcare facility or company is through the use of a professional medical waste management company such as Healthcare Waste Management. Experienced drivers will arrive in company-owned trucks at a pre-determined and approved time to pickup sharps containers. The team complies with all local, state, and federal laws regarding the containers and contents, transporting them to a company-owned facility for safe destruction. All clients are supplied with certificates of destruction, which is required by state/federal laws and can help to deter any future legal actions. The service is conducted by knowledgeable professionals and is reliable and cost-effective in making sure people and the planet is safe.

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