You're right, you still have to dispose of the sharps container when it's full. In my experience, pharmacies won't take them. However, your PCP's office should, or any other place that has larger containers of their own. If you're a patient there they can hardly refuse.
Don't know what your needles are like, but with Avonex shots you can break off just the needle end to put in the sharps container and the rest is not hazardous, so can go in the trash. Avonex being once a week, this way it takes years to fill a container.
I contacted our local trash hauler and was told that when my sharps are in the container, with the lid on (it snaps on and won't come off easily) that it is fine to put them in my trash. I dispose of my container about every 2 months - copaxone needles add up a lot faster.
Someone had suggested you contact your local fire dept. and ask if they take sharps containers.
We all keep trying to do the right thing,
My two cents...I take Copaxone, so I am with Lulu girl...there are at least 30 needles a month. After contacting our refuse company and asked if I could put used capped needles in a old gallon milk container-they said yes. Of course I rinsed the milk jug thoroughly, so I wouldn't have to smell milk. If you don't use gallons of milk, you can use the wax half gallon containers where I live. (Central Virginia) As long as the needles are CAPPED.
I then put the containers in a Hefty Bag along with my other trash. There is no recycling in this area (unfortunately) so there is no separation of trash in the landfills. In areas where there is stricter laws, I do not know how to get rid of hazardous waste.
My PCP's office will NOT take hazardous containers from outside the practice. They said it's a pre-caution they use. They also said that with the number of their patients on injectables (insulin users, etc.) that they would collect too many containers to have to contend with. I guess that I understand their position.
The best bet is to call someone with the county you live in and ask them how to dispose of used needles. Especially is your county recycles.
I take allergy shots, and my roommate has a nightly injectible, so we fill lots of sharps containers.
Luckily, she works not far from a hazardous waste disposal site, and she just drives in, hands them over, and they hand her clean sharps containers.
I noticed at my pharmacy there's a sign that says that they can no longer exchange full sharps containers, so that option might not be considered safe.
I think you've gotten good advice; contact the trash company or the county (maybe county health?) and ask for their suggestions.
I wondered what the needle snippers I've seen were for; that would sure cut down on how quickly the sharps containers were filled!
When Loretta was taking Byetta twice a day, she put her used needles in a shaprs container for a while, but after the first one filled up, she realized that it could cost us a pretty tidy sum just for the containers. Instead, she took an empty bottle from a liquid laundry product, had me write "sharps" all over it with a Sharpie (appropriate, no?), and then she used that for the rest of her days. It went into the trash bag along with the dog food can lids, plastic blister pack containiers, and a host of other things as likely to hurt someone.
I have also found while traveling that water bottles - like a Dansanti or Evian or Crystal SPings - with recloseable lids make great sharps containers. The whole point to the container is to make sure that no unsuspecting person is jabbed with your needles and your biomedical waste. The cleaning crew for the hotel room should not have to worry about my needles.
Any hard sided container that the needle cannot go through will work.
Milk jug, Wisk container, water bottle - they are all the same principle and great creative resuses of items that are headed to the landfill.
I use 2 litre juice or soda bottles to store them, and return them to my pharmacy once full.
The hospital I work in has a "Home Sharps Disposal" container right by the cafeteria. It's nice and big.
I use mine as darts for the picture of my old, evil Neuro.
HAHAHAHA!! Quix, I burned all those pix!
Ha Quix, I was wondering what fun I could have with my old needles and you just gave me a brilliant idea. Too funny.
My sharps container is already full too so I have gone the route of Dan with using an empty laundry detergent bottle. Works great and probably will get at least 3-4 months worth in there.
OK, I'm going to go get ready for target practice tonight. Thanks for bringing up this helpful topic.
A couple of weeks before my betaferon injections are delivered every month the company that delivers it phones me and asks if I would like a new sharps container and if I have any for them to collect.
The trash hauler and refuse company will tell you it's ok to put the used needles in a strong plastic container and throw it away in the regular trash. This is true, but only from a legal standpoint. These needles will still end up in a landfill. I think you should try your best to find an alternative.
I found a local hospital that will take used needles as part of its diabetes program.
Thanks everyone for your advice. It's been very helpful to me, and probably will be to others later on. I'll try county health, and the local hospitals first. If that doesn't help, maybe I'll try the pharmacy. And if I don't find anything immediately, I'll just throw darts to reduce stress :-) lol