You can find the complete archives of Ask Renee questions and answers through Feb. 29, 2016, by clicking here for indianalivinggreen.com.
I use insulin & other diabetes medication in pens with needle tips. Instructions with the pens say to dispose of the pens & needles in FDA approved containers according to my State regulations.
I asked the pharmacist & she said to put the pens & needles in an empty laundry detergent bottle, tape the top shut, label "Do not recycle" & put in the regular trash.
Do you know of a better solution?
I’ll get straight to the point. Sharps disposal by home self-injectors is not regulated in Indiana, which means, in theory, your pharmacist is correct. However, in an effort to help create a safe environment for the hardworking people who sort our trash and recycling, I encourage you to use an approved container and dispose of your needles and sharps with a collection program.
According to the IN.gov Household Needles and Sharps page
, “People exposed to sharps face not only the risk of a painful stick, but also the risk of contracting a life-altering disease such as HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis B or C.” You may know that your needles won’t cause such an illness, but imagine being the person on the other end and not knowing. You should do your part to create a safe working environment and peace of mind for the people who do our dirty work.
The web site includes a list of Sharps Collection Programs in Indiana. All March stores with pharmacies hold annual Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet
events when they will accept non-control, non-hazardous medications and sharps containers. The next one is April 29 – May 2.
If collecting your needles takes up too much space in your house, check out this Insulin Syringe Needle Clipper
. It can hold more than 1,000 needle tips which is twice as many as the typical red box.