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What do you do with your used syringes?
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What do you do with your used syringes?

Hi all,
I, like many of you, take medicine in the form of a shot (per syringe), in my case, Rebif.
I have been self injecting Rebif now, for about 18 months, the only problem I have, is where to take my used syringes for proper disposal.  When I talk to my doctor's office, they suggest my pharmacy, when I talk to my pharmacy, they suggest my health department, when I talk to my health department, they suggest my pharmacy or doctor's office.  What a vicious "run around", so now I have 18 months worth of syringes, and no place to dispose of them properly.  No, I haven't considered, just putting them in my weekly trash, even though, it's inviting, hazmat materials.  Where do you take, your syringes, for proper disposal?

-- Socrates2k1 (aka Stan)
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19 Comments Post a Comment
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1394601_tn?1328035908
We were told to dispose of them in our weekly trash pick up.  We put them in the disposal box that Rebif sends and then put masking tape around it.  Our state has zero....and I mean zero laws on the disposal of used needles.  We asked our hospital to take them..Guess what?  Their needles end up in the same place!!!!
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211940_tn?1267884866
Wow, that's terrible.

In my State (or more close to home, in my city, I live in Kansas), it's illegal to dispose of hazmat materials (ex. used syringes) in regular trash.  It must be handled as a "hazmat", and disposed of separately, by the proper authorities, etc.

Now, that's the law, meeting that law, has turned out to be the tricky part, obviously.

-- Socrates2k1 (Stan)
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1453990_tn?1329235026
Check with you local pharmacy or MS chapter.  Here in Colorado, once it is in a disposal box, it can be landfill waste.

Bob
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Avatar_f_tn
Socrates, I live in Ks. My Dr checked the laws out thoroughly for me as I got the runaround too. You may dispose of them in your weekly trash. Just be sure they are in a container. They told me even a milk carton is okay to use.
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1045086_tn?1332130022
Do you have trash pick up at your home provided by city/county government or a private service?  If so, call them and ask about proper disposal procedure.  

Or here's a good place to get specific advise.  http://safeneedledisposal.org/

There are big differences in disposal regulations depending on what you are disposing of and what type of container it is in.  The people you call may not want (or be allowed) to ask pertinent questions to give you a correct answer therefore, they pass you on to someone else.

When disposing of sharps used in the home the following is generally true. If the syringe is completely empty of its contents and you are free of diseases like AIDS, Hepatitis and sepsis you can generally place your used needles and syringes in any sturdy plastic container that has a secure (screw on type) lid.  Place the needle end of the injection unit into the container first to prevent self-injury.  When the container is half full, seal it with tape and attach a clear caution label such as, DO NOT RECYCLE - CONTAINS USED HOME SHARPS.

This is where you need to check for local rules and preferences.  Your municipality may frown on this type of disposal even though state law deems it legal.

This is NOT a hazardous material disposal issue.  It is a safety measure intended to protect sanitation workers.  It's the same type of disposal we should be using whenever items we are trashing have potential to harm workers who might come in contact with it between the end of our driveway and the landfill.  I save wide mouth nut and pretzel jars for this job (the big ones from Sam's Club).  They are my favorite for disposal of broken glass, light bulbs, syringes, etc.

If you are using a container specifically designed for needle and syringe disposal you need to check and see if it is labeled with a red triple circle symbol and /or the word BIOHAZARD.  Many states don't allow any containers with a BIOHAZARD label to be disposed of with household trash.  This label identifies the contents as medical waste (items contaminated with fluid or solids that have the potential to transmit disease).  There are specific requirements for disposal of BIOHAZARD medical waste.  Any hospital, pharmacy or office giving you a SHARPS Container should be willing to have you return it for disposal when it is ½ to ¾ full.

HHW (household hazardous waste) actually only includes things like batteries, paint, cleaning solutions with potentially toxic ingredients and pesticides.  Unlike the strict regulations for disposal of hazardous waste for businesses and industry, items that leave our homes can be dumped in a landfill legally.  Many local governments, hoping to keep a higher standard for their local landfills, offer programs that facilitate special collection and handling of HHW.

Some pharmaceutical companies also offer recycling programs connected to specific drugs they sell.  I believe Rebif has some sort of send-it-back offer but it may only be in force for California consumers.

You can cut and paste the following link to get both general and state specific information about safe disposal.  The site and information is presented by the Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal.

http://safeneedledisposal.org/

Mary
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382218_tn?1341185087
It is illegal in the municipality I live in to throw them out with household trash.  I put them in any kind of large, sealed container (2 litre plastric soda bottle, large coffee can, etc.) and return them to my pharmacy.  It's been awhile since I did so and they are piling up in the basement, which my husband has dubbed a hazard waste site, lol.
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Avatar_f_tn
I take mine to work.  
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721523_tn?1331585402
My pharmacy takes them.  But before I knew that, I would take off any identifying marks, tape them shut, walk into th ER and hand them to the desk clerk!  :-)
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620048_tn?1358021835
Here you can buy a sharps container for $5.00 and when it is full you just put in it the mail, not sure if its county or state.

I ended up buying the little cutter, it cuts off the needle and you can dispose of the rest in the trash, it is supposed to last a couple of years.

meg
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620048_tn?1358021835
Oh, btw, it also took me forever to find out what to do with them...i would keep on the pharmacies..

meg
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198419_tn?1360245956
Hey Stan,

My local hospital has a disposal program. So, you can bring them there in your sharps container - they may even swap it out for you.

When I checked my state - they said they can be in a can i.e., coffee can, wrapped in duct tape, etc. and disposed in regular trash. Problem is, I just can't do it. I picture them washed up on beaches. So, I dump my small container from the pharmacy (do you have them send you one?) and keep dumping them in my big container (which olds a lot) for the hospital.

-Shell
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429700_tn?1308011423
My hospital takes them. Because I take Copaxone, the needles stack up even faster.  I wait until I have two or three sharps containers filled before I go because it's quite an ordeal every single time.  Eventually, a hospital administrator is called and they take them.  I do have the needle cutter, too, which works great on trips out of town.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I just use the needle clip thing and throw the syringe, sans needle in the trash.  I'm not sure if that's legal, but the needle police have not come to arrest me yet.  I got my "BD Safe Clip" on Amazon for 3 or 4 dollars.  

Katie
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1382889_tn?1404599226
Just read this thread.  I too had a problem finding place to dispose of my syringes. I sure didn't want to pay since I will probably be disposing of them for the rest of my life (it does add up). Pharmacy would not take them.

While I was away for a few days this past Spring, my husband who gives blood/double red cell regularly at Carter Blood asked the tech who was hooking him up one day what we should do. She told him to bring down my sharps container anytime and they would take it.

He did and they took it. Big relief!

Julie
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1713150_tn?1314470942
Hi!  I am about to start my Rebif for the first time ever next week.  I wanted to know if you liked the auto inject or the normal syringe, and why you like either one better than the other. And how does it make you feel after u take the injection?  And for how long you feel ill afterwords, if u do at all.  Thanks!!

Kel
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1045086_tn?1332130022
Hi Kel.  I take Copaxone and use the autoinjector for that because I think it gives me the best consistency in depth and technique.  Lots of members have experience with Rebif but I think you will get a better response if you start a new topic to ask your question.  People don't always revisit these older topics and wouldn't expect to find a related but different question way down here anyway.

Mary
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1453990_tn?1329235026
I am just the opposite and manually inject Copaxone  I have given tens of thousands of injection over the 12 years I was in the military.  I used the autoinjector once and never again.  It is an issue of preference and training.  I can inject much slower and it seems to minimize the welts.

Bob
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Avatar_f_tn
Amen COBOB, the autoinjector, much like the bee sting autoinjector is primitive.
I can give s-l-o-w shots with no pain.........had lots of practice at the hospital!
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Avatar_m_tn
INDIANA.
Redbag non sharps- sharps in redbox. All marked hazmat and sent wia regulated disposal which incinerates all. Our rule is body fluids by hanging drop. Anything that has bodily fluids more than a hanging drop( including bandaids) is HAZMAT and has to be incinerated. Some clinics,hospitals and other medicals plus our local city will accept medical hazmat as a community service. We are not just talking about blood.
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