Why can't needles and syringes be thrown into the trash?
There are more than 6 million people in the U.S. infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis, or other contagious diseases, which can be contracted from a stick with a used hypodermic needle.
Over 3 billion needles are thrown into the trash each year by home users treating illnesses such as diabetes. Even if first placed into a secured container, these containers break open when the trash truck compacts them. Workers are stuck with the needles, and must go through months of testing for HIV and hepatitis because they do not know where the needles came from, or what diseases they may carry. For this reason, non–business generators of sharps should follow their state requirements, or the guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which state that no sharps should be thrown into the trash, even if they are placed in a plastic or metal container first. Mailback sharps disposal is one of the EPA alternatives included on their website. In addition, states such as California, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and others have either passed laws or established in their regulations that disposal of sharps by home users is prohibited, regardless whether the needles are loose or in containers.
If someone is self-injecting for medical conditions that are not contagious (like diabetes or allergies), why is it important to dispose of the syringes, needles and lancets properly?
Community workers and the citizens who come into contact with discarded syringes, needles or lancets must go through months of testing and anxiety if they receive a needlestick simply because it is impossible to know the source of improperly handled sharps.
What goes into the Complete Needle Collection & Disposal System container?
Home self-injectors only need to worry about proper disposal of your sharps such as needles, syringes, and lancets in your container. Please note that no more than 50 cc (10 tsp) of any liquid can go into any one container. This allowance covers liquids such as residual fluids that may remain in syringes.
Is it okay for the U.S. Postal Service to pickup and transport biohazardous medical waste?
Yes. Our mailback systems are specifically approved by the U.S. Postal Service and have been in use for over fifteen (15) years. A U.S. Postal Service permit number is printed on the front of every return mailback shipping box. This number is your assurance that the container and box may be mailed.
Can I put the Complete Needle Collection & Disposal System container in my own packaging?
No. The U.S. Postal Service strictly regulates the mailing of regulated medical waste and sharps. If you have lost your shipping box, call 888.988.8859 for a replacement.
Can I mail my package to the Sharps Compliance address located on the box?
No, our corporate offices are located in Houston and our treatment facility is located in Carthage, Texas. If you lose your mailback shipping box, please call 888.988.8859 and we will mail a replacement shipping box.
Is a prescription needed to purchase the Complete Needle Collection & Disposal System?
No. The system may be purchased without a prescription.
Are there any additional costs after the Complete Needle Collection & Disposal System is purchased?
There is an optional additional cost should you want to return the mailback for processing and treatment. You can click here to be linked to the portion of the site that facilitates either, (i) the purchase of the return shipping label or (ii) entering of your redemption code. See further information below.
How do I buy a return label for the Complete Needle Collection & Disposal System?
You can click here or the Return It button to purchase a return shipping label. Once the label is purchased through the Sharps Compliance shopping cart, you will be directed to a link to print a U.S. Postal Return label. If a printer is not available, you may request the label be mailed to your residence. The price for the label includes proper treatment of the waste, which converts the waste into a new raw material called PELLA-DRX™. This treatment process is environmentally friendly and uses ZERO landfills.
How do I use my redemption code for the return label?
You can click here or the Return It button to redeem the redemtion code for a return label. Once the valid code is entered, you will be directed to a link to print a U.S. Postal Return label. If a printer is not available, you may request the label be mailed to your residence by calling 888.988.8859.
How long can I store regulated medical waste and sharps before sending them out?
Although there is no limit for home users, we recommend that you promptly print your return label and ship the mailback in order to safely remove the medical waste from your home.
How is the Complete Needle Collection & Disposal System environmentally friendly?
When you use the optional return and disposal mailback available, your used syringes and needles are processed at the Sharps Compliance treatment facility. The medical waste is processed through a conversion that transforms discarded needles, syringes, lancets and other medical waste into a new product called PELLA-DRX™ – which is used in the manufacture of many types of resources including cement, vital to everything from homes to highways to high-rise buildings. This process renders the origin of the product indistinguishable and removes all hazards from the medical waste, eliminating landfill use by 100%.
Are there any other regulatory requirements?
Each state has its own specific medical waste regulations for generators, self-injectors and businesses. Refer to our Regulatory Links page and click on your state, or call 888.988.8859 for your specific state or industry requirements.