How do I properly dispose of my used lancets?

Updated 2 months ago by Erika

 According to the Environmental Protection Agency, lancets are medical wastes called “sharps.” Sharps can be dangerous to those handling garbage, if the sharps are thrown in the regular trash. ”Sharps boxes” are recommended for home use. Many pharmacies sell sharps boxes at reasonable prices and will allow you to return the boxes when they're full.

General Guidelines for Sharps Disposal

  • Use a sharps box if one is available. Some hospitals and clinics also provide or sell sharps boxes. 
  • If you don't have a sharps box, use a hard (puncture-proof) non-clear container for storing used lancets.
  • When your container is full, dispose of the lancets at a local pharmacy, hospital, or clinic. (See below for more disposal information.)
  • When traveling, it's still important to properly dispose of your lancets as suggested above, or bring your used sharps home for disposal.

Safety Precautions

  • Do not drop your used  lancets into the regular trash.
  • Do not use clear plastic bottles for lancet disposal. 
  • Do not put plastic bottles filled with lancets in recycle bins.

Per the CDC, as of now, each state and region has its own rules for disposing of syringes, pen needles, lancets, and blood strips. To learn more about the regulations, you can check with your refuse company or the local waste authority. For additional information about how to safely dispose of your medical waste in your neighborhood, visit the Center of Disease Control and Prevention official website

But in general, never dispose of medical waste directly in usual trash bins or public trash areas. Even when you are traveling, please use proper containers to collect your medical waste. Regarding test-strip disposal, patients typically dispose of them in the same bio-waste container as other medical waste items. Some like to keep the blood glucose test strips in a sealed bag and then place them in the sharps container. Sometimes, your community may have dedicated collection sites for filled sharp containers. Some of these locations that may collect them include police stations, fire departments, doctors’ offices, health clinics, health departments, pharmacies, and hospitals.

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