When Should a Sharps Container Be Replaced?

A sharps container securely collects sharps immediately after use. The FDA evaluates containers for their safety and efficacy to reduce the risk of injury and the spread of infection. FDA-approved containers are made of sturdy plastic and have an indicated fill line. Containers must also be puncture and leak-resistant and include a tight-fitting lid.

Sharps containers come in a variety of sizes to meet the needs of healthcare facilities, home use, and travel. You can purchase them through pharmacies, medical supply companies, some healthcare providers, and online. But, when should you replace a sharps container? This blog is your guide on how to properly use a sharps container and when you should replace it.

How to Properly Use a Sharps Container

Properly use and replace your sharps containers with Medical Waste Pros

Sharps include any kind of needle, syringe, or medical object that could puncture the skin. Their potential to cause injury and spread bloodborne pathogens requires careful handling. Healthcare providers should implement a sharps disposal program to maintain safe handling and legal compliance when collecting used sharps. 

Once you have acquired FDA-approved sharps containers, make sure to properly label them. Labels should include a red biohazard symbol to warn of the hazardous materials inside.

Next, you will need to install your containers where you generate sharp. Determine the location by accessibility, convenience, and usage. Wall-mounted containers should be 52 to 56 inches from the floor, within reach, and below eye level at the point of use. You should store containers you have at home or for travel upright and out of the reach of children or pets. Moreover, place all sharps into a sharps container immediately after use.

When to Replace Your Sharps Container

Medical Waste Pros can  replace your full sharps containers

Sharps containers should never be overfilled. If containers are too full, they are likely to break open. When sharps reach the fill line (at three-fourths full), it is time to replace the container. Close and seal the container to prepare for disposal. Single-use containers will be disposed of with the sharps inside. Reusable containers will be emptied and sterilized before being returned.

You should also replace a sharps container immediately if it cracks or damages in any way. Any defective containers or container issues should be reported to the FDA. Healthcare facilities are subject to reporting requirements and should follow the proper procedures. 

Sharps Container Disposal

You can dispose of sharps containers with several different services. You will want to select a service based on how many sharps you generate and how often you require service. Be sure to check your local sharps disposal regulations to maintain compliance.

Drop off Services

You can take sharps containers to a drop off collection site for disposal. Collection sites are available in most areas. Drop off services are typically a good option for sharps you dispose of at home and small-scale disposal. Containers are only accepted during business hours.

Pick Up Services

Pick up services are great for healthcare facilities and other businesses that generate sharps. Waste management professionals will collect your containers on a regular schedule to maintain your disposal needs.

Mail Back Services

Mail-back services are another small-scale option. You can package your containers and send them in when it is convenient for you. Mail-back services often include packaging materials to eliminate extra costs.

Sharps are categorized as regulated medical waste (RMW). RMW requires sterilization before the waste is transferred to a landfill. Medical Waste Pros uses autoclaving or incineration to properly sterilize your sharps.

Dispose of Your Sharps Containers with Medical Waste Pros

Contact us to learn more about safe sharps disposal. We offer services across the country to medical facilities, homes, and businesses. We will send you free quotes on local services to help you find the best deal on compliant services near you. Give us a call at (888) 755-6370 or fill out the form to start today.