Where to dispose of Sharps Containers for Free?
Sharps such as needles must be disposed of properly to avoid any accidents. In these cases, we must know where to dispose of sharps containers for free so that the waste is treated correctly.
Sharps containers are boxes that are made with a lid. These can be obtained by prescription from a primary care physician or pharmacist. Once these boxes are filled they should be disposed of properly so that these hazardous wastes are properly treated.
- 1 What is the use of a sharps container?
- 2 How to dispose of a full sharps container?
- 3 Recommendations for the proper use of containers
- 4 What is done with sharps containers from health care related facilities?
- 5 Tips for disposing of sharps containers
What is the use of a sharps container?
This type of container is used specifically for the disposal of medical supplies, which include:
- Finger pricking lancets
All items should be placed directly into the container immediately after use. Once inside the container, you should not attempt to remove them, as you may cause damage to yourself with them.
It is important to fill the container to the mark on the container. It is not recommended that it be overfilled so that proper disposal can be achieved. In addition, this type of container should remain in a safe place until it can be disposed of, to avoid risk to others.
How to dispose of a full sharps container?
This is a situation that may vary depending on where you live. If you have diabetes, you will use the needles at home, and the local council may be responsible for collecting the full container.
It is important to contact your local municipality to arrange for a collection service. Some municipalities may charge for the service, but the vast majority will collect the containers completely free of charge.
On the other hand, we may have different options for disposing of this type of waste:
Supervised collection sites
Sharps containers can be taken to collection sites. These can be doctor's offices, hospitals, pharmacies, health departments, police, or fire stations.
In all these places the service is usually free, although in some cases you may be charged a fee. It is always better to get information before taking the containers to avoid surprises.
Household and hazardous waste collection sites
There are different sites where you can take hazardous waste. These sites usually accept hazardous waste, as well as household waste such as paint, cleaners, or motor oil.
This is a service that can be convenient because it can be sent through the postal service. However, this form of shipment requires a fee for the container to be shipped. The fees will depend on the size of the container.
In addition, it is important to follow the specific instructions provided by the container manufacturer for mailing. This type of program has very specific rules and is one of the most complex for disposing of sharps containers.
Home collection services
As mentioned above, most municipalities have a service to collect sharps containers. Everything will depend on each municipality, although there are also companies that can offer you this type of service.
Dumpsters must be placed outside your home so that they can be collected by waste management services. You usually need to call to schedule the collection of this type of waste. On the other hand, some companies may offer collection during traditional hours, but not all companies offer the same service.
Recommendations for the proper use of containers
Used needles and other sharps should not be placed in any type of household container. These are items that are not recyclable and should not be placed in the traditional recycling container.
Avoid putting used needles in a container such as a can or beverage bottle. Used needles can cause damage, and carry blood-borne viruses to other people. Some of the infections that can be transmitted by needles include HIV or hepatitis B or C.
If you are a patient who must inject medications because you have a health condition, you will be responsible for disposing of them. They should always be disposed of safely, to avoid causing problems for other people.
This type of medical waste is normally generated in health-related centers. To manage this waste there are different options such as:
- Take the waste to a licensed medical waste processing facility.
- Hire a registered medical waste transporter.
- Ship waste to an authorized facility using the U.S. Postal Service.
- Treat waste following procedures related to on-site treatment notification.
It is important to use one of the methods approved by the Department of State Health Services. In some cases, sharps may be encapsulated in a hard matrix within a container that is sealed and labeled. These containers can be disposed of with routine trash.
Tips for disposing of sharps containers
Before making the arrangement of sharps containers, you will need to pay attention to the following tips:
- Verify the types of containers that can be used.
- Search for collection programs in your area.
- Be sure to mark the container correctly.
- Secure the container so that it will not open during transport.
Keep in mind that it is always important to follow all the container manufacturer's instructions to avoid accidents. Also, follow all safety tips and do not fill more than indicated on the container label.
These types of containers have products that are a risk to other people, which is why they should always be treated with great care. In addition, you have to keep them out of the reach of children or pets in your home. It is best to dispose of these types of containers immediately when they are full, to avoid any risk to public health.