A safe sharps container is puncture-proof, has a secure lid, and is clearly labeled.
To Purchase Containers: Plastic containers specifically made for holding used sharps are available in a number of sizes and brands. They can sometimes be found at chain drug stores and are easily ordered online through chain drug stores, Amazon, or other retailers. (Search online for “sharps containers.”) A common size is 1 quart (32 ounces), costing $5-$6. Smaller containers convenient for traveling are also available.
Sharps container mail-back programs are available for an extra fee. These are particularly convenient when there is no disposal site nearby.
Pharmaceutical Takeback/Container Programs: Several drug manufacturers offer free/low cost sharps mail-back programs, or provide free sharps containers, for consumers taking specific brand-name drugs. To see if you are eligible for any of these options, click here.
To make your own sharps container:
- Use a heavy-duty plastic bottle, such as a laundry detergent bottle, that is hard to poke through, can stand upright, and has a screw-on cap.
- Tape a label on the container or write in big letters saying: “Contains Sharps—Do not recycle”.