Millions of individuals with serious health conditions manage their care at home. For example, people with diabetes use syringes to inject their own insulin and lancets to test their blood glucose every day.
All this creates a lot of medical waste. What's the best way to handle this waste?
The best way to protect everyone including family members, trash handlers and sewage treatment workers against disease or injury is to follow these guidelines for containment and disposal of sharps:
- Use a puncture-proof plastic container with a tight-fitting screw top. An empty detergent or bleach bottle is good. Do not use glass because it can break. Coffee cans are not recommended because their plastic lids come off too easily.
- Label the container clearly. Write "Contains Sharps" with a waterproof marker directly on the container or on masking tape on the container.
- Once you have used a syringe or lancet, immediately put it into your container. Screw on the top. Do not clip, bend or recap the needles because you could injure yourself.
- Keep the container away from children.
- When the container is full, screw on the cap tightly. Seal it with heavy-duty tape to be extra safe.
Do not put sharps containers out with recyclable plastics. Sharps are not recyclable.
Long Beach Medical Center offers a free sharps container disposal program for community residents. Please follow the instructions above; then bring your sealed sharps containers to:
The Family Care Center (Outpatient Clinic)
Long Beach Medical Center
455 E. Bay Drive
Long Beach, NY 11561
Hours for sharps drop-off are:
Monday through Friday
8:30 AM to 4:30 PM excluding Holidays
Other Disposal Options:
There are different options for getting rid of the container of sharps. Here are the best bets for safety, health and protection of the environment.
Call your doctor, pharmacy, or local hospital or nursing home and ask if they accept properly contained sharps for disposal.
Ask your diabetes educator or local American Diabetes Association chapter about sharps disposal programs.
Call your local public works department or solid waste manager. (Check the blue pages of the telephone book for their numbers.) Some communities have special household medical waste collection or drop-off days.
Call your local health department and ask for the health educator. Ask about special household medical waste disposal programs.
Call the New York State Department of Health Diabetes Control Program at (518) 486-9030. Ask for a list of licensed medical waste transporters who provide collection services in your area.
Diabetes Management Services
If you need help managing your diabetes, Long Beach Medical Center can help. Our Diabetes Education Center is recognized as a Center of Excellence by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), offering the ADA's 10-hour diabetes self-management program monthly. It also offers individual counseling, medical nutritional therapy, weight management, and sponsors a monthly diabetes support and education group that is open to everyone. For more information on diabetes management services, please call the Diabetes Education Center (516) 897-4354 or click here.