What to do if you cannot Find a Sharps Disposal Container


What to do if you cannot Find a Sharps Disposal Container


Disposal of Sharps by Health Care Facilities

The information on this page is meant to be used by consumers, including patients, relations , and residential health caregivers to deal with disposal of used needles and other sharps used at reception , at work, and when traveling. This page isn't for health care facilities.


For information on sharps disposal at health care facilities or disposal of regulated medical waste by health care personnel outside of healthcare facilities, see Sharps Disposal Containers in Health Care Facilities.


The safest way to eliminate a second hand needle is to right away place it during a sharps disposal container to scale back the danger of needle sticks, cuts and punctures from loose sharps. If you can't find a sharps disposal container directly , you'll have to recap the needle or use a needle clipper until you've got a chance to eliminate sharps in an appropriate sharps disposal container. Never throw away loose needles and other sharps in trash cans or recycling bins, and never flush them down the restroom.


If you would like to place the cap back on the needle (recap), don't bend or break the needle and never remove a needle from the syringe by hand. This might end in accidental needle sticks, cuts or punctures. Recapping should be performed employing a robot or the one-handed technique (see below for step-by-step instructions). Recapped needles should be placed during a disposal container at subsequent available opportunities.

The One-Handed Needle Recapping Method

Step 1: Place the cap on a flat surface just like the table or counter with something firm to "push" the needle cap against.

Step 2: Holding the syringe with the needle attached in one hand, slip the needle into the cap without using the opposite hand.

Step 3: Push the capped needle against a firm object to “seat” the cap onto the needle firmly using just one hand.

Needle Clippers

Needle clippers make syringes unusable by clipping off the needle. Clippers could also be used for needle disposal of small syringes (such as insulin syringes), but not for clipping lancets.

After the needle clipper clips off the needle from the syringe, the needle is automatically and safely retained within the clipper.

Do not plan to clip a needle with any tool except a needle clipper designed to securely clip a needle.

Before using any of the above procedures, check your community guidelines for acceptable sharps disposal methods.