How do you dispose of needles and other sharps

So I’ll be the first to admit I’ve not always been the most disciplined about proper disposal of sharps. Historically, at home, I’ve just put the safety cap back on pen needles and thrown them in the garbage. At work, I have tossed them into paper cups, or plastic bottles and then folded the tops of the cups over and stapled them closed then brought them home in my suitcase and tossed them. More recently, I’ve taken to being more disciplined about putting them in plastic water bottles and giving them to my wife to take to work and dispose of with the medical waste—

What do you guys do and why? Interested to hear your thoughts?

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We have a needle clipper so all the sharps get de-fanged, so to speak. But we also have a biohazard box that we turn into Walgreens every six months for stuff like infusion sites, which are still a hazard even with the needle clipped.

Also used glass jars for tomato sauce in a pinch.

I toss needles and strips in an empty gallon vinegar jug. When full, I tape it shut with some duck tape. I call city services and they come and pick it up. It states on our recycling containers that we are to dispose of any medical sharps or waste by calling for pick-up.

We use an empty Coffee canister. Fill it, tape it shut/label it and put it in the trash bin (it’s legal where we live.)

Empty laundry detergent containers work well.

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@Sam Just use the needles and lancets until they’re not sharp anymore :cheeky:


I guess I must be the only one who still uses the “official” process:-)

We have a sharps disposal box, where the top makes it very difficult to retrieve already disposed of contents. One reason I am glad to use it is that we have many 12-year-olds at our house, whose first concern rarely is common sense or personal safety.

When it fills we take it to an official disposal center. Where we live, you can take it to a drugstore and pay a few dollars to get rid of it, or drive it to a free disposal center in the county about 30 minutes from home.

As a note, we use a fastclix so we have no lancets to dispose of, and we snip our needles so we have no needles to dispose of:-) The only thing we need to get rid of is the snipping container: it will probably take us until my son is 18 before we have to get rid of another sharps container.


I have a large sharps container in the laundry room. In the past (as I understand it), you could use any rigid container (laundry detergent, etc.), tape it shut and take it to the fire station for disposal but they discontinued that. Now, I buy a container from a specialty pharmacy in town and take the full container back for disposal. The cost for the large container is ~$12, and disposal is “free.” I keep a small laundry detergent thing at my diabetes “station” for daily use and transfer to the large container as needed. I’m a stickler for properly disposing of needles and lancets. (Lancets? Who changes - let alone disposes of - lancets?! ROFL)


I do realize this is an old thread, but in many locales laws have changed, been updated and possibly been instituted. Have they changed/been implemented where you live? Is there a cost associated with disposal? Can you mail them away, or must you drop them off in person? If you drop them off in person, where do you need to go? To a county facility? A drugstore? A medical facility? A sheriff’s facility?

Where I live, we have a variety of disposal options depending on your personal mobility status. The county trash provider will even supply free sharps containers no questions asked at a local pharmacy chain. The one caveat around here is that they have to be in actual Sharps containers, labelled as such. No milk jugs taped shut, no glass jars taped shut, no exceptions. I guess that’s why they give away free containers. Personally, I’m lazy. 1.5qt containers free or not fill up way too fast. I buy the 8 gallon ones on the Seattle guy’s website for less the $20 and just go every 6 months. Way easier.