How to Dispose of Sharps Safely – What You Need to Know

When it comes to disposing of sharps safely, it's important to understand the risks and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and others. Sharps are objects or materials that have the potential to puncture or cut the skin, such as needles, blades, and syringes. If these items are not handled properly, they can cause serious injury or even the spread of infection.

Fortunately, you can take steps to safely dispose of sharps, such as using a sharps container and following local disposal guidelines. In this article, we will discuss what sharps are, why it is important to dispose of them safely, and how to do so.

What are Sharps

Sharps are medical instruments that are used to puncture the skin, such as needles, syringes, and lancets. They are often used to inject medications, draw blood, or administer medical treatments. It is essential to dispose of sharps safely to prevent potential injuries and the spread of infectious diseases.

The Dangers of Improperly Disposed Sharps

Properly disposing of sharps is extremely important in order to reduce the risk of injury or disease. Improperly disposed sharps can lead to serious health risks, including the potential spread of infectious diseases.

In addition, improperly disposed sharps can cause physical injuries. Such injuries can include puncture wounds or cuts. These can be extremely painful and even lead to infection. If a sharp object is not properly disposed of, it can even be picked up by other people and used as a weapon.

The Proper Way to Dispose of Sharps

Safely disposing of sharps is an essential part of proper medical waste management. Sharps, such as needles, lancets, and syringes, must be disposed of in a responsible manner to avoid potential injuries and the spread of infectious diseases.

The proper way to dispose of sharps is to place them in an FDA-approved sharps container. These containers are puncture-resistant, leak-proof, and sealed to protect the environment and individuals from injury or infection. Sharps containers must be labeled with a biohazard symbol and be placed out of the reach of children and pets.

Once the sharps container is full, it should be sealed and disposed of in accordance with local and state laws. In most areas, sharps containers are accepted at medical waste management facilities, sharps mail-back programs, and incinerators. If you are unable to find a professional medical waste management service in your area, contact your local health department for assistance. It is important to remember that sharps should never be thrown in the trash, as this is dangerous and could result in injury or infection.

The Consequences of Not Disposing of Sharps Properly

Not properly disposing of sharps can have serious consequences. First and foremost, improper disposal of sharps can lead to the spread of infections. Examples of such infections include HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, as well as other bloodborne diseases.

In addition, sharps can cause physical harm if they are not disposed of properly. Unused sharps can be a hazard to other individuals, such as children or animals, who may come into contact with them. Sharps can also cause damage to the environment, as they can contaminate food, water, and other natural resources.


Safely disposing of sharps must be done with caution and proper education. Practice safety when disposing of sharps which includes; wearing protective gear, gathering all materials, and properly disposing of sharp objects. Still, the best way to dispose of sharps is to hire professional medical waste disposal services to ensure that all sharps are properly and safely disposed of.

Looking for a safe and effective way of sharps disposal for your facility? United Medical Waste Management is here to help. We are the largest independently owned hazardous waste management provider in New England.

Our experienced team of professionals is here to provide you with the best waste management solutions, from medical waste removal to waste disposal compliance training. Contact us today to learn more.