Everything You Need to Know About Sharps Disposal

Everything You Need to Know About Sharps Disposal

Mishandling sharps can lead to dangerous health risks for the public. If not disposed off properly, the chance of waste personnel being injured is great. This happens when the sharps poke through waste bags and cut a waste worker. Being injured from a sharp can lead to infection by a deadly disease. A study published by The South African Medical Journal found that the majority of individuals are not disposing of sharps correctly.

Great caution must be used at all times when dealing with sharps waste. Contacting a professional to handle the safe disposal of sharps is always recommended. This is the best way to insure the safety of you and your company.

What are Sharps?

A sharp is defined as any object with edges, corners, or protrusions that could result in stabbing or cutting. They pose a risk of piercing a person, or damaging waste bags. Common examples include syringes, hypodermic needles, or blunted needles. Blades such has scalpels, microtomes, and razors are also considered sharps. Keep in mind that glass and plastic containers should not be stored in a waste bag if they could cause a tear.

If you are unsure if an item should be disposed of as sharps, remember this: any clinical item that could cause a cut or puncture should be disposed of in a sharps bin.

How do You Dispose of Sharps?

Sharps should always be disposed of in proper disposal containers. These sharps bins are built specifically for the purpose of handling sharps as waste. The design provides the user with the most effective and safe way to handle any sharps. Thus, leading to much lower chances of any injury or risk or infection.

Sharps bins are made from rigid plastic that cannon be pierced. They should also be marked with a fill line. This line indicates when the bin should no longer be used (as it is full), and will need to be disposed of. The bins come in a variety of sizes for any need. You may even request travel sized containers, should they be necessary.

What you Should NEVER do with Sharps:

There are common mistakes made when handling sharps waste. First of all, you should never throw loose sharps directly into a common waste basket. It will not properly protect anyone from handling the

waste. Likewise, do not place sharps into a recycling bin. While they might seem to be made of recyclable material, they can not be recycled.

Second, never flush sharps down a toilet or place them in any other type of plumbing.

Finally, you should not try to bend or break any needles. You could use a needle clipper to remove the needle. However, it is recommended that you directly dispose of the needle into the sharps bin instead.


Hopefully now you have a better idea of why it is critical to dispose of sharps safely. Mishandling them can lead to severe consequences. For more information, refer to the Health Professions Council of South Africa who outlines other procedures and definitions. When you are in need of the best safe disposal team, contact us to find out what we can provide today.

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