How To Safely Dispose Of Your Used Diabetic Sharps Anywhere You Go

Posted on: 20 January 2015

Whether you are a newly diagnosed diabetic, or have been dealing with diabetes for years, you need to know how to dispose of your used needles, lancets, and test strips. It is important to put your used sharps in a container so they won't accidentally stick or be reused by another person. Here are solutions to dispose of your diabetic supplies at home and while you are away from home.

While You Are At Home

As a diabetic you have a little more responsibility than a non-diabetic. At home, you should have a dedicated container where you discard any of your diabetic supplies that have come in contact with your blood or subcutaneous fluid. You can get a container for used sharps by signing up for a mail service, or home delivery service. Once the container is full, the delivery service picks it up, or you mail it back to the disposal company and they will dispose of the sharps according to regulations. 

If you don't want to pay for a service, you can always be your own medical waste service. Use a thick plastic or metal container as your sharp collection container at home. The container needs to have a lid that will seal, and the container can't be made of glass. 

An empty plastic detergent bottle is the perfect receptacle for your needles, lancets, and syringes. Place the container somewhere in your home that is not accessible by children or pets. As soon as the container is at least 3/4 full, you can replace the cap on the container, tape around the cap with packaging tape, and put it in your trash for collection. 

Many diabetics choose this method to discard their used medical supplies, but check your state for specific rules and regulations. You want to be sure you are abiding by all local laws when you get rid of your sharps. Most states will allow you to discard your sharps in the trash as long as you mark your container with the words "Used Sharps. Do Not Recycle". This will ensure that once it is in the trash, no one will try to open it or recycle the container. 

Some diabetics even dispose of their used test strips in this type of container as well. Although used test strips cannot stick anyone, there is still blood on each test strip that could be contaminating. You can collect your used test strips in a plastic zip-top baggie, then empty them into your sharps container later on.

While You Are Traveling

When you are away from home, you won't want to carry an entire used sharps container in your luggage. You also don't want to try to destroy your sharps by clipping off the needle from your syringes either, and risk having the needle fly into your eye. After you have used a syringe or needle, do not try to replace its cap, but put it immediately into a used sharps container. You will risk sticking yourself with the needle by replacing the cap. 

You can buy a travel size container for sharps, or use an empty soda bottle for medical waste removal during your trip. The neck of a 20 ounce size plastic soda bottle is the perfect size for a syringe or needle to fit through. And, you can close the cap on the bottle so your used sharps won't spill out. Make sure to mark the outside of your bottle with a permanent marker to indicate it contains used sharps. Then, you can tape the bottle's lid onto the bottle and discard your bottle in the trash.

Being responsible by disposing of your used diabetic sharps is easy and inexpensive to do.