Why do we have sharps?
Sharps are particularly important in managing diabetes. Lancets are used to poke the finger or arm for blood glucose tests. Pen needles in insulin pens deliver insulin into the body. Syringes offer another way to deliver insulin.
Where should used sharps be placed?
Used sharps should always be placed in an approved sharps container, never just in with your garbage. Sharps containers are made of hard puncture-resistant plastic, usually marked with a biohazard symbol.
What should be done with full sharps containers?
Sharps containers should only be filled to the three-quarter mark before being sealed with the lid provided. Once it has been sealed, never try to re-open the container.
The sealed container should be placed in a plastic bag and taken to a local pharmacy for disposal. Ask whether your pharmacy offers this service, since not all are set up with the system. Currently in Canada most Safeway pharmacies have this medical waste disposal program in place. Safeway Pharmacies provide this service free of charge. It is costly to disintegrate used sharps.
Where can I get a sharps container?
Ask at your local Safeway pharmacy. A number of companies make sharps containers, two of the most popular being BD and Monoject. There is a nominal charge to obtain these containers. Safeway Pharmacy also offers their own sharps container produced in partnership with Lifescan Canada. This container is available free of charge at any Safeway Pharmacy.
For more information on the proper and safe disposal of used sharps, check with your local Safeway pharmacy.