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How To Safety Dispose Of Needles In Your Own Home

For people who must use injectable needles at home, it’s important that you dispose your needles and any other sharps properly. Needles that are disposed of improperly pose a safety risk to waste disposal workers and others. Here is the information you need to responsibly dispose of needles and do your part to stop the spread of infectious diseases.

The Risks of Needle Disposal

If you use needles at home for a health condition, simply placing them in a trash bag for disposal carries serious risks. Needles can easily poke through trash bags or containers, exposing waste workers to any diseases that are contained within the needle.

There are special dangers present relating to diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, which can be transmitted through a needle. It’s also possible for someone you know to become pricked with a needle while handling your trash, giving you further incentive to dispose of needles the right way.

Thankfully, there are a wide array of options for disposing of your needles and sharps. Try to pick a method that works best for you and stick with it.

Using a Drop Box or Other Designated Collection Location

People who use needles and sharps can bring their used needles to a special designated location. Often, these areas include health departments, hospitals, pharmacies, a physician’s office, and other locations in your community. Usually this service is completely free for you or carries a small fee. You can check with a local pharmacist or your physician for a list of designated drop boxes or locations in your area, and then choose one that’s convenient for you. 

Destroying Your Needles At Home

It’s also possible to safely sterilize and dispose of your needles directly at home. Certain companies sell devices such as autoclaves or incinerators that can safely destroy medical waste. Devices can melt or burn needles, essentially making the needle safe for normal trash disposal. While these devices require an upfront cost, they also give sharp users a certain level of convenience and peace of mind that makes often them worth it.  

Mail Disposal Of Needles

There are certain services that allow you to send your needles and sharps through the mail. You will place them in a special puncture-proof container and simply send them to a designated collection site where they are then disposed of. You will usually have to pay a fee for this service, but many find it easier than driving to a drop box or buying a specialized device for disposal. You can check with a pharmacist or your health care provider regarding whether this service is available in your area.

Needle Exchange Programs

In some areas, it’s possible to exchange used needles for new needles. These programs are available across the United States, and are designed to stop the spread of infectious diseases. Speak with a healthcare provider or pharmacist about whether a needle exchange program is available in your area. The North American Syringe Exchange Network is also a good resource to research your options.

With these available resources, you should have no problem properly disposing of any needles or sharps you have, and help avoid any accidents or health hazards that can jeopardize the public in the process. Talk with a medical waste service, like S.H Bio-Waste LTD, for more information on the how and why of safe needle disposal.

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