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Home Sharps Disposal

Disposal Tips for Home Health Care

You can prevent injury, illness, and pollution by following some simple steps when disposing of the sharp objects and contaminated materials you use in administering health care at home.

Sharps Used at Home

Needles, syringes, lancets, and other sharp objects should be placed in an empty plastic detergent container or coffee can, and when full, the lid should be securely fastened. The container should then be placed in a plastic trash bag for disposal with your regular household garbage. Don’t recycle the container; don’t use clear plastic or glass containers. Take a small container with you when you travel for safe, easy sharps disposal.

Sometimes medical supply companies or home health agencies will provide special disposal containers to use for sharps. When these special containers are full, they are returned by mail. You can check with the company that supplies your medical equipment about whether they have a “sharps mail back” program.

Other Home Medical Waste

Soiled bandages or disposable pads, used medical gloves, and other medical items that are not sharp should be placed securely fastened plastic trash bags before you put them in the garbage can.

Sources:
Environmental Protection Agency (1998). Disposal Tips for Home Health Care: http://www.epa.gov


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