Disposing of Supplies


(venusmtanner) #1

Hi All,

 

I'm new to this site but am really excited to be able to discuss issues with others living with this disease. I thought when I joined it would be a good place to get and share advice with others.

Today was my first opportunity to do so. I have been keeping my used sharps and pen needles in old detergent containers and similar hard plastic. I have been told by my doctors office that they do not accept them for disposal. That I should tape the lids closed and clearly lable them as diabetic supplies and throw them in the trash. I do not feel comfortable doing this and have been looking for an alternative. I would like to find a place that I can send them to be restored, not put into a landfill. I recycle everything else I can in my life and feel really socially irresponsible doing this. The only other alternatives I have found have been mail in services that want to charge a fortune to send your sharps to them but I cannot afford to do so.

Therefore I am coming to you as for some ideas. Hopefully someone knows of a way to dispose of these supplies in a more socially responsible way that does not cost anything.

Thanks for your ideas.

Vee


(Woo Its Pat) #2

Trashcan works for me. If I ever am off my pump for whatever reasons and giving injections, the Humalog pen caps have their own little plastic covers and can go right in the trash, as for regular syringes for Lantus, I bend the needle, put the cap on, and toss it as well. All pump supplies go into the trash


(adammclaughlin85) #3

Most disposable medical supplies, especially those that are 'contaminated sharps', are incinerated (for obvious reasons of infectious diseases). All of the Dr offices I have dealt with have allowed me to take them back at my appointments and even gave me a sharps container to keep them in. They do pay for this by the pound though, and I guess some don't want to take on the extra costs of allowing all their patients to use them to dispose of their sharps.

However, as with everything, after a couple years I've gotten lazy do the same thing as Pat: pump supplies go right into the trash, and if I have to inject bend the needle, recap, and throw away. I guess that's not very 'socially responsible', but it's nice and easy...and costs nothing!


(Woo Its Pat) #4

I'm not lazy :P, I just never heard of any other alternative for disposal, nor would I want to hold onto 3 months worth of diabetic trash to be disposed of at my quarterly endo appointment.


(adammclaughlin85) #5

Well I am lazy! haha


(cdavid1) #6

My mom works in a hospital. So my dad and I throw all our sharps in an old coffee can and she takes it to work with her and just does whatever with it. I don't know any other way.


(system) #7

you can buy sharps containers from the drug store for something like $5 a pop and then return them to be disposed of and pay another $5 for a container(I think they only take three at a time at most too)...of course..they don't last long. When I was growing up, we used the plastic 2L milk containers..and would throw them in the trash every few months(once the cupboard we kept them in was full).

i have three containers under my desk atm..needless to say they are overstuffed to fit as many as possible. i have two used plastic grocery bag filled as much as possible, and third one my mom got me already overstuffed. i go through so many needles, my mom couldn't keep up with buying me containers and i couldn't remember to try and budget for that $5 every three weeks.

when i move back to my mom's next week, cuz we're in a townhouse and i can't put them in the trash there, i'll probably stock up on containers since i won't be paying rent.....but i would otherwise probably go back to the 2L milk containers.


(DDrumminMan) #8

There's a city run place in my town where I can take them and drop them off.  They have a drop box in front.  I clip the needles off and put them in soda bottles with the screw tops.   I then tape  'em shut and drop 'em off.  I'd check with the dept of health in your town.  They might have something similar there.


(Dillripple) #9

I always used an orange juice cardboard container when younger for my syringes. Now I use the trash since Im not on syringes. I used pens and the caps go in trash because they have their own caps.


(NikkiB) #10

I'm horrible, I use 4 needles a day for injection, and after use I cap them and just throw them in the trash. I know it's not the correct 'environmentally friendly' thing to do, but when I looked for place to purchase medical dispoable containers, they were in the $25.00 dollar range. I found that a bit high, as diabetics would go through these rather fast.

I would check with your county health department. If they can't help you out, they can at least point you in the right direction!


(Liz Branigan) #11

i use an old laundry detergent bottle :) only my old needles, my pump tubing (infusion set) and my lancets. my Dr's told me everything else can go in the trash.

plus laundry bottles are something you already have, no need to spend anymore money!! just don't throw one away, i think i've had the one im using almost 2 years. but i had the pens when i was on insulin, not the big scarey needles lol


(jenniferpritchard) #12

I just throw everything in the trash...I'm on the pump so really the only needle that i use is the one that inserts the cannula in me and it has a little device that folds over and covers the needle so it can go right in the trash.  I thow lancets away too, but i barely ever change that so I figure its not too unsafe!!

 


(NikkiB) #13

Liz - I think I am going to use your idea! I have a pretty big bottle of laundry detergent now, so once I use it all up, I'm going to use it as a needle disposal!

Once your detergent bottle is filled, do you take it anywhere?


(jrapier) #14

I was told in the hospital that in California that it is against the law to dispose of lancets and needles in the trash so we get a sharps container at walgreens.  It comes with a box to seal the filled container in.  We then take it to a UPS store or a post office and it is mailed to special disposal sites - the postage is included in the price of the container - about $10 or so I think.  I believe the law was set up to protect sanitation workers. 


(since030993) #15

When I lived in NJ they had hospital based programs where you would get a biohazard container fill it and exchange it for an empty one.   Now in VA, I've asked around at 4 different hospital systems and they just say use a laundy detergent bottle or milk jug.  It's my understanding that the laws are different in each state, as are the opportunities for "safe" disposal.


(Anonymous) #16

Here are some links for the laws in each state

http://www.safeneedledisposal.org/resslaws.html

http://www.bd.com/us/diabetes/page.aspx?cat=7002&id=10284


(Liz Branigan) #17

Nikki-  honestly, i havent had to get rid of it yet. because i used the pens, only the needle heads went in there, and lancets, and now that im on the pump and i was told just to put the tubing in the container. i'm yet to fill it up, i think its about there though, im told youre supposed to send them away to get taken care of the right way but im not sure, in my hometown hospitals would take them and do it for you. i'd say just do some google-ing. i labeled mine "needles" just to be safe lol my boyfriend hates the smell of laundry soap and insulin, so now he doesn't accidently open the wrong bottle.


(MaDEvans) #18

[quote user="Liz"]

Nikki-  honestly, i havent had to get rid of it yet. because i used the pens, only the needle heads went in there, and lancets, and now that im on the pump and i was told just to put the tubing in the container. i'm yet to fill it up, i think its about there though, im told youre supposed to send them away to get taken care of the right way but im not sure, in my hometown hospitals would take them and do it for you. i'd say just do some google-ing. i labeled mine "needles" just to be safe lol my boyfriend hates the smell of laundry soap and insulin, so now he doesn't accidently open the wrong bottle.

[/quote]

The laundry detergent bottle method works great.  I give it two thumbs up.  You just throw the whole bottle away once it's full.  Since it's a hard container that sharps can't penetrate, it's safe to toss in the trash.


(system) #19

in the trash it goes. i'm relatively disease free.


(Woo Its Pat) #20

[quote user="Happy Vegan"]

Here are some links for the laws in each state

http://www.safeneedledisposal.org/resslaws.html

http://www.bd.com/us/diabetes/page.aspx?cat=7002&id=10284

[/quote]

Cool, I'm a lawbreaker...if those are indeed MD laws (which I doubt are enforced).