Most people who walk into my kitchen always do a double take when they see the container of laundry detergent sitting on my kitchen countertop. Usually, a statement along the lines of “I hope you don’t use laundry detergent in your cooking” follows, which makes me chuckle! The container of laundry detergent is not filled with liquid soap for clothes but instead it is filled with used syringes, pump sites and lancets.
From the time of diagnosis, I have been using empty laundry detergent containers to dispose of my medical sharps. My endocrinologist always taught me the importance of safely disposing of my sharps; he always told me not throw out my sharps in the normal trash or recycle them. It was suggested by my endocrinology team to fill up a laundry detergent container and then dispose of the filled container in my normal trash.
Disposing of my sharps when out in public has always been a little harder. My school does not have sharps bins located conveniently throughout campus, so I mostly cap my needles if I can and keep them in my backpack to dispose of at home. In public, I try to always look in bathrooms for a sharps disposal container… I believe disposing of sharps correctly is important because it means keeping others safe – I would never want someone taking out the trash to be pricked by a needle, so I make sure to practice safe sharps disposal!
The regulations for sharps disposal differ by state. To make sure you are practicing safe sharp disposal in your state check out SafeNeedleDisposal.org – this is a good idea because if you are in college, the laws on your campus for disposing sharps may be different than they are in your home state!
For example, I live and go to college in New Jersey. Here is what SafeNeedleDisposal.org says about New Jersey:
They make it easy to understand with short bullets and big graphics. Check your disposal laws above.
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