Chicago diabetic Straight Dopers

How do you safely and legally dispose of your used insulin syringes? I was placed on insulin last spring. So far, my pharmacist has been disposing of them for me
I would rather not rely on him, though because he has developed an attitude since I changed my insurance. I think it’s a little more complicated for him than Medicare used to be.

So, is there a safe,legal way to dispose of them? We are plagued in this neighborhood with scavengers who pull everything from our trash cans to get at whatever it is that they want. Help?

I’m going to move this to General Questions, where it will get more attention – though it’s a Chicago problem, I bet this happens all over.

Might the OP consider purchasing a sharps container? I see they can be found at various websites for $5-10 shipped. A friend of mine had one for daily injectables, but she used to work for a medical lab and might have gotten the five finger discount.

Spartacus, thanks. I honestly didn’t know about the sharps containers but have now found them online and they are as you said, not very expensive. Thanks again.

AFAIK (from research I did while I was on Lovenox), you’re still not supposed to just throw a sharps container in the trash. The sharps container is for collecting syringes etc., but when it’s full, you either (a) mail it back to the company you purchased it from, if that was part of the purchase deal, or (b) dispose of it at an approved sharps collection point. Call around to local pharmacies and hospitals–one of them should be a safe place to drop off your container, or if not, they should be able to point you in the right direction.

I confess to being confused by the question - all of the BD syringes I’ve used for decades are designed to snap cleanly, separating the portion containing the needle from the body/plunger, resulting in a useless plunger assembly and a useless needle assembly which is still in its protective case. It’s no exaggeration to claim that I’ve probably done this more than 10,000 times. Is the OP concerned about the needle contained in the protective sheath? :confused:

The problem is if a protective cap gets removed from the needle end, then someone like a sanitation worker gets jabbed. He has no way of knowing who used the needle, or their health status. So he has to assume the worst and go through a lengthy and costly medical treatment.

Yes, even the automatically retracting needles should still be disposed of in a sharps container. I’d think some local hospitals should be able to help out as far as letting you know where you can empty your sharps.