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Home Sharps Disposal

Posted on 19/11/2014 by Advanced Bio in Blog

Medical waste is found in many homes, whether as a result of injuries and medications, or insulin testing and other disease-related needs for both humans and pets. Disposing of biohazard waste at home or in the workplace is a common concern in many households. Some things can be tossed in the regular garbage, but other items, such as sharps, must be disposed of in a way that is safe and follows standard regulations. Having a safe and effective way to dispose of these harmful materials, at home, is greatly beneficial to society, the environment, and you!

Medical Sharps in Arizona

“Sharps” is a medical term that includes anything with a point or edge that can puncture skin. Sharps are used at home, work, or educational institutions in order to manage the needs of different medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, blood disorders, migraines, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. Disposing of any of these items improperly is dangerous as they can spread infections or cause injury to anyone with whom they may come in contact. Sharps include items such as the following:

  • Needles
  • Lancets
  • Insulin pens (auto injectors)
  • Syringes
  • Tubing systems (such as feeding tubes)
  • Connection needles for tubing systems
  • Knives

Millions of people use medical sharps. Through an increase in improper disposal of hazardous materials there has been an excess in biohazard waste. Despite how medical sharps have been used (whether it is for treatment of an infectious disease or not) all medical sharps are considered potentially dangerous. Having a professional medical waste disposal company at your service, creates peace of mind and allows you to limit your exposure to liability.

Infectious diseases can live on a sharp object for over a week. Because of this, anyone who comes into contact with a used sharps container, such as a needle, can be injured or infected. What many people don’t remember is that while an object, such as a needle, can appear to be safely disposed of at home, there are others who may come into contact with the object after disposal, such as sanitary and sewage workers, janitors, housekeepers, children or pets. All sharps should be disposed of in an appropriate sharps container immediately following use.

Without proper training, home Sharps disposal can be risky, but still better than an uncovered trash bin. Contact an experienced and reliable medical waste disposal company, and learn more about proper at-home sharps disposal below.

Disposing of Sharps

If an item, such as a used needle, is tossed into the regular trash with other waste, not only can it hurt a sanitation worker, it can easily become lodged in other trash or equipment, causing workers to have to remove the object by hand. If a needle is disposed of improperly in a public setting, such as a park, children and pets are at risk for needle-stick injuries and potential diseases.

Depending on where you live, there are many different types of safe and easy disposal methods for sharps, especially medical injection objects. These methods include the following:

Designated Drop-Off Sites

Check your local pharmacies, doctor offices, hospitals, health clinics, police stations and fire stations to see if they accept disposed sharps. You can also contact Advanced Bio Solutions for more information on home Sharps disposal drop off sites and pickup services.

Sharps Containers

Some communities provide approved containers for people to place sharps in and then transport to a municipal hazardous waste collection facility. Contact your local waste management company to learn if they provide approved containers and if and where biohazard sharps are accepted for disposal. Home Sharps disposal containers come in handy when you have someone receiving in home treatment or use diabetic solutions.

Mail-Back Programs

This is a fee service for individuals looking to keep sharps out of their regular waste stream and to conveniently get rid of sharps. Many times this type of service is beneficial to rural communities or areas where there are no biohazard waste facilities.

If none of these services are available, the following guidelines need to be met to dispose of sharps properly:

  • Place sharps in a heavy plastic or metal container or a container purchased from a medical facility or pharmacy.
  • The container must NEVER be placed in the recycle bin.
  • The container must be puncture-proof with a tightly-sealed or taped lid.
  • Do not use a clear or glass container.
  • Keep all containers out of reach of kids or pets.
  • Do not overfill containers.
  • All sharps should be encapsulated before disposal – cement or plaster works well to prevent sharps from escaping containers.

Biohazard Waste

Is it important for home sharps users to understand that these objects are considered biohazard waste despite how they are used. All sharps have the potential to be dangerous and therefore must be disposed of properly so adults, children and pets in the home, at work, or at sanitation facilities are protected from injury or disease. Exposed medical or biological waste can be just as hazardous as the aftermath of a crime scene.

Medical waste professionals dispose of sharps from medical facilities, research labs, and pharmaceutical companies on a consistent basis. These professionals follow all rules and regulations regarding medical waste disposal and prevent injuries from happening and disease from spreading. They are also aware of local waste disposal facilities that have specially designated areas for biohazard waste disposal. It is wise to follow the practices of medical waste professionals and dispose of all medical sharps properly in the home or at work.

If you do not know if your area provides home sharps disposal containers, search the web for local safe needle and sharps disposal services in your area. If you are the owner of a company with medical or biohazard waste, contact our experienced medical waste disposal technicians today to discuss your safe sharps disposal options.