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How to Safely Dispose of Sharp Items

Safely Dispose of Sharps

Whether it is a broken tumbler, an old exacto knife or a used insulin needle; special care needs to be taken with every sharp item. Here are a few ways to safely dispose of your sharps to protect yourself and your Waste Collection Specialist.

Glass & Ceramics

Broken glass and ceramics should pe placed in a sturdy box and firmly taped shut. Packing material should be used if the broken items do not fill the box to keep the box from compressing and having the sharp items pierce through. When the box is sealed and safe it can be labeled with a permanent marker to alert about the danger.


Knives, exacto-blade refills and cutlery also need to be boxed safely as above. Knives and refills should also have their bladed edges taped with cardboard before putting them in the box.  Small plastic containers can also be used to contain blade refills. Never put open blades in a bag without boxing them first.

Medical Waste

Needles and other medical waste. Anyone who must self-administer at home needs to dispose of their waste properly. Your pharmacy can provide you with a “safe” container to dispose of your medical waste. Once full, the pharmacy will take your box of sharps and provide you with a new one. (Medical waste, whether it is sharp or not, must never go into your garbage). The pharmacy will ensure that your sharps are disposed of properly. For more information on where to find safe sharp containers visit

1986 Glad Garbage Bag Commercial

A True Story About Sharps and This Glad Commercial

“This 1980’s commercial inspired my son to give our garbage one last kick after dragging it to the curb. The problem was he was wearing sandals and there was a broken bottle in the bag. I had not fully understood the danger until I had to bring my son to the hospital for stitches. You never know what kids will do, but the danger is there for all of us if we don’t dispose of sharp items properly.” – Site Administrator.