Safe sharps disposals

Sharps are devices used to penetrate the skin. In diabetes management these include:

  • Finger pricking devices or lancets
  • Insulin syringes
  • Pen needles used with insulin pens
  • Introducer needles for insulin infusion sets for insulin pumps

Once a sharp is used can I throw it in the general waste?

No, it is unsafe to dispose of sharps in household waste. Members of your family, council workers and members of the public may be exposed to your sharp if disposed of in household waste, leading to a needlestick injury.

What is a needlestick injury?

A needlestick injury means the skin is accidentally punctured by a used needle. An injury of this nature can cause much distress, as exposure can occur at any time following incorrect disposal.

How should sharps be disposed?

All sharps devices should be disposed of in a sharps container. This is a nonreusable container for the collection of sharp medical items used in health care. A sharps container should be a rigid, leak proof, puncture resistant and shatter proof container with a tight fitting lid and should comply with Australian Standards.

Where can I purchase a sharps container?

Sharps containers can be purchased at Diabetes SA and most chemists. They are yellow in colour and clearly labelled.

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Can I dispose of my full sharps container in the general waste?

No, once a sharps container is full it must be sealed and disposed of only into community sharps disposal facilities. These may include public hospitals, participating pharmacies and local councils. Contact your local council or pharmacy and ask if they have approved sharps bins for safe sharps disposal.

Diabetes SA offers a free service to its members to safely dispose of sealed sharps containers during busines hours of operation (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm). Become a member today .

Download: Safe sharps disposal