Patient Information Regarding Disposal of Sharps and Medical Waste

By MAYS Latest Reply 2013-01-14 20:32:37 -0600
Started 2013-01-09 21:42:32 -0600

At Sanofi U.S., we recognize the importance of proper disposal of sharps and medications for patients and for the environment. Patients are at the heart of our activities, and this includes assisting patients looking for resources containing information on how to better use and dispose of our products.

Sanofi U.S. has gathered information and guidance from external sources relating to proper disposal of products to help you in your search.
Improper disposal of medicines and sharps, such as throwing sharps unprotected into the trash, can be dangerous to patients and others who may unknowingly be place at risk.

Protecting the public from improper disposal of sharps has become an increasingly important issue and several states have passed or are considering legislation to make it illegal to dispose of sharps in household trash.

What is a sharp?

A sharp is generally any hypodermic needle, pen needle, intravenous needle, lancet, or other device used to penetrate the skin to assist in assessment or treatment of a condition or delivery of medication.

Proper Disposal of Medicines:

Keep medicine in its original container. Use a heavy marker or other item to completely cover personal information on prescription bottles.
Mix liquid medicine with undesirable substances like coffee grinds, cat litter, or dirt. Dilute pills with water, and then add coffee grinds, cat litter, or dirt.
Place bottles in an opaque container, like a yogurt container, with a secure lid; or wrap them in a dark colored plastic bag.

Hide the container in the trash.

Do NOT recycle.
Do NOT dispose of medication down the drain or toilet.
Do NOT keep excess or expired medication around the home.

Keep all medications out of reach of children.

More information is available on the internet, we suggest starting with a, visit to these websites:

Center for Disease Control:

Food and Drug Administration Guidance: How to Dispose of Unused Medicines

White House Guidance: Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs

SmaRxt Disposal: Responsible Medication Disposal Safeguards Lives and Protects the Environment

You may also try searching your state or municipal website for additional information or requirementsrelating to disposal of medications or sharps.

14 replies

type1's mom
type1's mom 2013-01-14 20:32:37 -0600 Report

Most business have to pay by the pound to dispose of biohazards or sharps so they won't take yours. The most important thing is to make sure the sharps stay inside a puncture resistant container until they r "processed" at the "dump"

type1's mom
type1's mom 2013-01-14 20:29:22 -0600 Report

Bleach bottles are puncture resistant and opaque with locking caps so unless someone purposely opens it No one would even know u were trashing sharps. Just saying ;)

manapua72 2013-01-10 12:47:53 -0600 Report

You guys r AWESOME , doing the right or @ least trying … Most people would just throw in trash & forget about it …

CJ55 2013-01-09 23:26:39 -0600 Report

Hi James.. I have called my local waste disposal company and have left 6 messages without any returned calls. I do recall you checking for me and I greatly appreciated it. You were the one who told me to call them. I will keep trying that is all I can do. When I lived in VA my doctors office disposed of them. NC is a lot different. Thanks again.. Hugz CJ

MAYS 2013-01-10 06:54:24 -0600 Report

In your locale will a hospital, emergency center or the fire department (first aid center) dispose of them for you?
You might want to check with them, they may be more qualified and willing to do so.

CJ55 2013-01-10 10:22:06 -0600 Report

Good Morning Mays.. Unfortunately no. I have called every place I can think of. I just called the local Diabetes Center and I am waiting for a call back. I may have to wait for my next trip to Washington DC and dispose of them. Thanks for the suggestions. Have a great day.

CJ55 2013-01-09 23:01:25 -0600 Report

Ty Mays for the great information. I still have not been able to find a place to dispose of my Sharp Containers. I have about 30 filled sharp containers right now. It is frustrating because we are told not to put them in the trash, but on the other hand, we are not told where we can dispose of them.

Nick1962 2013-01-10 16:29:36 -0600 Report

CJ, for med waste we are governed by NCDENR who says it's OK to dump them in the trash if wrapped correctly.
Call your local trash guys and see what their preference is. If they say no, they should have a preferred way or place to give you.

CJ55 2013-01-11 10:47:17 -0600 Report

Good Morning Nick.. Thank you for the info.. I have called the local trash-waste company and left 6 messages. I am on the road right now heading to Atlantic City for 5 days, but plan on working on this again whe I get back. Have a great Friday .. Hugz

Nick1962 2013-01-11 11:11:16 -0600 Report

Have a good time! Just to ease your mind, almost all household trash is burned at very hight temps and the metals are magnetically separated from the ash and recycled. So unless someone is actually handling what you put in the can, your sharps may not be touched by human hands ever again.

CJ55 2013-01-11 11:21:43 -0600 Report

Hello Nick.. No one handles my needles or lancets unless my BG is so low that I cannot function myself. My husband handles them and he knows what to do with them when he is finished. Ty for the info.

jayabee52 2013-01-09 23:10:27 -0600 Report

CJ, Have you contacted your local waste disposal company for their input regarding this issue?

As I recall I tried to track it down for you in SC only to learn it was up to the Trash disposal authority in our locality to instruct you in the proper handling of sharps disposal?