Specific guidelines for safe sharps disposal, including designated drop-off locations, vary state by state, but the FDA does offer some basic rules:
- Immediately place used sharps in a proper sharps disposal container—never loose in the garbage. Appropriate containers should be made of heavy-duty plastic, able to close with a tight-fitting, puncture-proof lid, leak resistant, properly labeled and able to be kept upright and stable while in use.You can find FDA-cleared disposal containers through pharmacies, medical supply companies, healthcare providers and online. But if you don’t have an FDA container immediately available, a household container that fits these criteria, such as a laundry detergent container, may be used.
- If you expect to have to dispose of sharps, carry a portable container with you at all times.
- Keep containers out of reach of children and pets.
- Dispose of used sharps disposal containers according to your community guidelines.