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Many people rely on needles, lancets or syringes to manage medical conditions and maintain their health as well. Your community pharmacy may be part of a needle and syringe program designed to stop the spread of blood borne viruses such as Hepatitis C and HIV. By providing sterile syringes, which can be accessed easily and anonymously, community pharmacies involved in the needle and syringe harm minimisation program aim to have every person who injects drugs use a sterile syringe every time. Pharmacy plays an important role in the community by providing safe methods of disposal and clean injecting equipment for customers who use sharps. Needle and syringe programs are an important public health measure.

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Sharps and Medical Waste

Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about. Skip to Main Content. Sign In. Sharps and Medical Waste Needles and syringes, often referred to as sharps, should not be placed in the garbage, recycling containers, or down the toilet. Sharps are defined as having the potential to puncture or lacerate. These include syringes with needles, detached needles, and disposable lancets.

Because they are used for medical purposes, or may have come in contact with garbage or wastewater, sharps may carry infectious diseases and can pose a danger to solid waste workers or anyone who accidentally comes in contact with them. Home Users Do not place sharps in the garbage or recycling. For information and drop-off locations, call the Health Department's Biomedical Waste Section at Congress Ave.

Some pharmacies also have mail-back programs available. Commercial Disposal of commercially generated medical waste, such as from doctors, dentists, veterinarians offices , and other medical facilities and labs is regulated by State and local ordinance. Contact the Palm Beach County Health Department for a list of licensed medical waste transporters and waste treatment facilities. Arrow Left Arrow Right.

Safe Needle and Syringe Exchange Programs

Sterile syringes: Sterile syringes are safe to use in experiments, gardening projects, and cooking. Oral sip-tip, sterile syringes are great for administering liquid and gel medications to small children and animals. Disposable sterile syringes are one-time-use products that are not intended for re-sterilization after use. Industrial syringes: Order syringes with extra long needles for refilling ink cartridges or lubricating hard-to-reach components of machinery. Curved-tip syringes are ideal for irrigating wounds, arts-and-crafts projects, and industrial applications.

There are many individuals with serious health conditions who manage their care at home and use syringes. For example, people with diabetes use syringes to inject their own insulin and use lancets every day to test their blood glucose. In addition, people who use drugs also need to dispose of used syringes and needles.

Individuals living in the community use needles and syringes to treat medical conditions or to inject illegal drugs. Workers such as waste haulers, recycling plant workers, janitors, housekeepers, and sewage treatment workers can experience needlestick injuries when used needles are improperly disposed of. Members of the general public, including children, can also be exposed. The following websites provide resources for properly disposing of used syringes and needles. Needles and Other Sharps Safe Disposal Outside of Health Care Settings external icon This webpage from the Food and Drug Administration gives tips for safely disposing getting rid of needles and other sharp devices that are used outside of health care settings.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Back to Accidents, first aid and treatments. Use a sharps bin to dispose of used needles or sharps. A sharps bin is a specially designed box with a lid that you can get on prescription FP10 prescription form from a GP or pharmacist. When full, the box may be collected for disposal by your local council. You can use a clipper to snap off a needle or the sharp part of a syringe. The needle stays inside the clipper. However, clippers are not designed to remove lancet needles. Put needles or similar medical supplies into the sharps bin immediately after using them and do not try to take them out again. Only fill the bin to where it says "Do not fill above this line". Keep your sharps bin in a safe place so it's not a risk to other people and is out of the sight and reach of children.

How should I dispose of used needles or sharps?

Home-generated sharps waste is hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications derived from a household including a multi-family residence or household. Sharps waste should be placed in a State approved container. Check availability at designated distribution sites listed below. Another alternative is to place your sharps waste in a container that does not leak, break, or puncture.

Find more information about drop-off facilities.

Stockpiling used sharps in the home or improper disposal by throwing them in the trash or flushing them down the toilet puts you and your family, janitorial and solid waste staff, and the general public at risk for accidental and painful needle sticks that can lead to infection, tetanus and transmission of diseases. Make your own sharps container using a heavy puncture-proof plastic bottle — like for laundry detergent. There are also products for sale — usually at your local pharmacy — that make containment convenient and that can be thrown away in your regular trash when full. Devices that clip the needle off a syringe allow you to throw the remaining piece in your household trash.


Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about. Skip to Main Content. Sign In. Sharps and Medical Waste Needles and syringes, often referred to as sharps, should not be placed in the garbage, recycling containers, or down the toilet.

This will reduce the risk of needle sticks, cuts, and punctures from loose sharps. Sharps disposal containers should be kept out of reach of children and pets. Note: Overfilling a sharps disposal container increases the risk of accidental needle-stick injury. Be prepared when leaving home. Always carry a small, travel-size sharps disposal container in case other options are not available.

Sharps Disposal

They provide drug users access to sterile needles and syringes at no cost and safely dispose of used needles and syringes—all without increasing illegal drug use or crime. Many needle and syringe exchange programs also offer other disease prevention products, such as alcohol swabs, condoms, and vials of sterile water, as well as education on safer injection practices , wound care, and overdose prevention. Many also provide referrals to important services such as substance use treatment programs; testing and treatment for HIV and hepatitis C; hepatitis vaccinations; screening for other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis; and other social, mental, and medical services. By their very nature, needle and syringe exchange programs, also known as syringe access or syringe service programs, require a private and secluded location. This protects the privacy of people who use the program. As of , countries worldwide reported having needle and syringe exchange programs.

Individuals living in the community use needles and syringes to treat medical To find a needle disposal program near you, enter “medical sharps” in the “Find.








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