How To Use A Sharps Container: A Comprehensive Guide

Sharps Container Disposal [Locations & Top Companies]
Sharps Container Disposal [Locations & Top Companies] from


Welcome to our guide on how to use a sharps container! If you are unfamiliar with sharps containers, they are specially designed containers used for the safe disposal of medical sharps such as needles, syringes, and lancets. In this article, we will walk you through the process of using a sharps container to ensure proper disposal and minimize the risk of needlestick injuries and the spread of infections.

Step 1: Select a Suitable Sharps Container

Size and Type

The first step in using a sharps container is choosing the right one. Consider the volume and frequency of sharps waste you generate. For personal use, a smaller container may suffice, while healthcare facilities may require larger ones. Additionally, select a container that meets the necessary safety standards and regulations in your region.

Sealable and Puncture-Proof

Ensure that the sharps container you choose is sealable and puncture-proof. This is crucial to prevent accidental needlestick injuries and the release of potentially infectious materials. Look for containers with a secure lid and a sturdy construction to prevent leaks or breakage.

Step 2: Proper Handling and Disposal

Prepare the Area

Before using a sharps container, designate a clean and well-lit area for disposal. Ensure that the container is easily accessible and away from the reach of children and pets. You may consider wearing gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) during the process.

Safe Disposal of Sharps

When disposing of sharps into the container, remember to never force or overfill it. Place sharps directly into the container without recapping or bending them. If a sharp has an exposed needle, use a needle clipper or similar device to safely remove it before disposal. Do not attempt to break or bend the needles manually.

Sealing and Closing

Once the container is nearly full or reaches the fill line, seal it securely. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper closure. Some containers may have built-in mechanisms to prevent reopening once sealed. Never reopen or reuse a sharps container once it is closed.

Step 3: Proper Disposal of the Sharps Container

Check Local Regulations

Before disposing of the sharps container, familiarize yourself with the local regulations regarding its proper disposal. Different regions may have specific guidelines, and it is essential to follow them to prevent environmental contamination and protect public health.

Medical Waste Disposal Services

In many cases, sharps containers cannot be disposed of in regular trash. Contact your local healthcare provider, pharmacy, or municipal authority to inquire about medical waste disposal services. They will guide you on how to safely dispose of the sharps container in compliance with the regulations.

Mail-Back Programs

Another option for disposing of sharps containers is through mail-back programs. These programs allow you to send the container back to a specialized facility for proper disposal. Research and find reputable programs that comply with the regulations and provide clear instructions on how to participate.


Properly using a sharps container is crucial for the safe and responsible disposal of medical sharps. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure the protection of yourself, others, and the environment. Remember, always prioritize safety and comply with local regulations to prevent accidents and promote a healthier community.