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Sharps Waste Bin Disposal & Collection Guide

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We provide sharps waste collection and disposal for thousands of businesses across the UK. Get a quote on your sharps bin disposal today.

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What is sharps waste?

Sharps waste refers to any material or object with sharp edges or points (that can cut the skin) which needs to be discarded. This includes things like syringes, needles, broken glass, or even some sharp plastics.

This type of waste is considered to be dangerous because of the potential for it to puncture human skin, causing injury or infection. Therefore, this waste should be treated with caution.

Sharps waste bin with needles and syringes falling out of it

Safe collections

Your business needs to ensure that its sharps waste is stored correctly and disposed of safely. Not only because you need to protect your customers and employees but also because it’s your legal responsibility.

The best way to deal with your sharps waste disposal is to use a professional waste management service. They’ll provide you with the necessary bins, with lockable lids, so that you can keep this type of clinical waste secure.

You’ll then have your bins collected on an agreed schedule at a frequency to meet your demand.

Due to the dangerous nature of this waste, a professional collector will need to be fully licenced and carry out the collection in a safe and cautious manner (with protective equipment like gloves).

At WasteManaged, we work with specialist collectors who know exactly what’s required to deal with your sharps. Get a quote with our team today and see how much you can save.

What are the different types of sharps waste?

Items which can be classified as sharps waste include:

  • Disposable scalpels
  • Razor blades
  • Broken glass
  • Broken plastic
  • Hypodermic needles
  • Tattoo needles
  • Syringes
  • Scissors
  • Piercing needles
  • Shards of bone or teeth
  • Pins
  • Staples
  • Insulin pens
  • Lancets
  • Metal wiring

Syringes and needles in a white bin

What are sharps bins?

These bins are designed to hold a potentially hazardous and dangerous type of waste.

  • They’re made of durable material which can’t be easily damaged or leak.
  • They come with a sealable/lockable lid to ensure that nothing escapes, is spilt, or poses danger to wayward hands
  • They typically have colour-coded lids for the various types of waste
  • Are available in a range of shapes and sizes

Which sharps bin do I need?

There are various types of sharps bins which are colour coded to help you separate your waste into the correct containers.

a photo of a sharps waste bin with an orange lid

Non-pharmaceutical sharps bins – (orange lid) – are used for tattoo needles, piercing needles, knives or stationery products.

a photo of a sharps waste bin with a yellow lid

Sharps contaminated with medicinal products – (yellow lid) – are used for needles, syringes or other sharps which have been used with medicines and pharmaceuticals. For example, needles are used to administer injections.

a photo of a sharps waste bin with a purple lid

Sharps contaminated with hazardous chemicals – (purple lid) – are used for sharps contaminated with cytotoxic or cytostatic medicines. For example, medicinal vials.

Where should I store my sharps waste disposal bins?

Due to this type of clinical waste posing such a significant health and safety risk to humans and animals, you need to store them in a safe location.

We recommend that they’re kept up from the floor (wall mounted) so that they can’t be knocked over easily and everyone in the room with the sharps bin is aware of where it is.

You also need to remember to lock or seal your clinical waste bin after disposing of your sharps.

Which businesses need sharps waste disposal?

Businesses which need sharps disposal include:

  • Hospitals
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Tattoo parlours
  • Chemists
  • Nursing homes
  • Dentists
  • Laboratories
  • Pharmacies
  • GPs
  • Vets
  • Aesthetic surgeries

Tattoo artist working

How is sharps waste disposed of?

To ensure that sharps are disposed of safely, they’re either disinfected or, in most cases, incinerated.

Autoclaves are used to disinfect the waste. These are a type of pressure chamber which uses high temperatures to sterilise the waste.

How do you dispose of needles and syringes?

Needles and syringes need to be placed in a locked-lid sharps bin.

Depending on whether the needles and syringes have been contaminated with medical substances or not will determine whether they’re incinerated or disinfected.

If they have been contaminated then they need to be incinerated. If they’re not (sharps in the orange lid bin), then they can be sterilised.

Are sharps hazardous waste?

Infected sharps are considered to be hazardous or specialist waste.

They need to be stored, collected and disposed of in a safe and risk-mitigated way because of their danger to humans and the environment.

Scissors in bloody biological hazardous waste bag

What are the laws regarding sharps bins?

The two most important laws and regulations to be aware of for sharps waste disposal are:

Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 and 2015 – training should be given to all employees who are likely to come into contact with sharps. The sharps must also be labelled and stored in secured containers.

Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 – any waste which is deemed to be hazardous for humans, animals or the environment must be stored in a secure fashion before disposal.

How can I get my sharps bins collected?

To get started with sharps collection you should contact a professional service like ourselves.

Fill out our quick and easy quote form and select the ‘Other/unsure’ option when asked which waste type you require to be collected.

Once you’ve done that our team of experts will be in touch to help answer any questions you may have and to advise on the best services and quotes for your business waste needs.

We’ll work with you to agree on a collection frequency and schedule to suit you. Get a free quote with us today.


Can I get sharps waste disposal near me?

Any business in the UK can get their sharps waste collected near them because we operate all across Britain. We cover all major locations and even some of the most remote ones too.

Why use WasteManaged for waste disposal?

  • You’ll get expert advice – We’ve been collecting clinical and sharps refuse for over 11 years
  • You’re never left in the dark – We have an industry-leading customer support team
  • Others love our services already – We’re rated excellent on Trustpilot and are trusted by over 22,000 customers
  • Your waste will be collected on time and regularly – We can collect anywhere in the UK
  • You can afford us – We provide your bins for FREE!
  • You can be confident in us – We never charge for excess weight and keep your invoices at a fixed flat fee

Get a free, no-obligation quote with our team today.

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