Insulin Syringe Safety for Diabetics
These 4 tips will help you ensure the safe disposal of your insulin syringes.
Need to dispose of a needle—or "sharp"—used for injecting insulin? Don't just wrap it in a tissue and throw it away. Instead, try these safe disposal ideas.
- Go postal: Mail-back programs provide you with a container in which to send syringes to a licensed disposal facility. Container fees run from $20 for a one-quart unit to $45 for a gallon-size one. Check with your diabetes-care team or pharmacist for a mail-back facility near you.
- Out of site: Find a free, safe, syringe-disposal program with a drop-off/collection location in your area. Participants may be given a durable container to hold a month's worth of sharps. Return the full container to the program center and receive a new one. Your diabetes-care team may know of such a program near you.
- Contain yourself: Place needles in a puncture-resistant plastic or metal container. An empty laundry detergent or bleach bottle works fine, as does a coffee can. Your pharmacy may also sell containers specially designed to hold sharps, allowing you to safely deposit them with your household trash. Be sure to label the container: SYRINGES—DO NOT RECYCLE. Seal the bottle tightly and cover the cap with duct tape.
- Self-destruct: Buy a needle clipper at your pharmacy. Then safely clip the needle so it's no longer usable. Using a device not designed for needle destruction can be dangerous. Place the pieces into a puncture-resistant, hard plastic or metal container for disposal. Make sure to properly label and seal the container as noted above.