Self-injecting and sharps disposal

For those who si, may I ask what you do w your sharps bins? I hadn't thought it through and didn't realise it would involve such a potential rabbit warren of agencies.

I'm planning to contact my local substance misuse programme/needle exchange to ask if they can help, but any advice is welcome. Don't want to tangle w gp especially, and not opposed to paying for a service, just not sure where to start.

20 Replies

  • Different areas have different processes. Try going to your local authority's website and looking for their waste disposal policies. My local council will supply a sharps bin and replace it when full.

    If that fails try asking at a small local pharmacy (big ones, like Boots or Tesco, may not be so helpful), or ringing a local vets.

  • I have diabetes and PA and my local council takes care of my sharps bin. When it is almost full I call a number given to me by my doctor's surgery (which you can get yourself if you call your council switchboard) and when they collect your sharps bin they bring a replacement.

  • Yes, I do understand there is a system in place for those on prescription but I'm self-injecting and have no contact w the gp on this issue. About to go to the surgery to fill out a form to get the Council to collect but I bet you dollars to donuts they won't do it once the find there is no script.

  • I am the same. I self inject b-12 for fibromyalgia. I don't know what to do either.

  • My surgery swaps mine so worth a try, as well as fbirder's suggestions.

  • deniseinmilden do they swap it w/o a script? Just walking in off the street?

  • I was told by the receptionist that they would and they gave me the containers.

    I won't make a major fuss but will point out how I am saving them money by SI when my health is partly their responsibility, if I meet with reluctance from anyone.

  • I just walked into a pharmacy and handed my full sharps bin over to them for disposal.

  • yes local council will collect and replace and also some health centres you can go in and just hand over (but they wont supply you with a new sharps bin).

  • My local council do not collect w/o a gp referral, which I can't get w/o a script. Health centres don't take them here, it's via the council route only apparently. I don't mind at all self-funding - a sharps bin costs less than £2 and lasts me a year - but the only thing I can't seem to do myself is get rid of it.

  • Thanks all. Going to go down the gp route to see if I can get the Council to collect (not hopeful as I am self-funding/self-injecting/no script). Local needle exchange only does small (black) bins. If this fails will try local pharmacies and/or my vet.

  • I didn't need any GP interaction. I just called my local council and they told me the date.

    Which reminds me, I must call them today as I'm almost full.

  • That seems v sensible. Mine needs a referral from the surgery so you have to fill out a form and have them approve it and send it to the council. We'll see if they have any objections.

    *Update* They won't do it. Back to square one.

  • My local council won't collect but there was a link on their website for pharmacies which will accept sharps boxes without any form filling or doctors involvement. Worth just searching your local council website.

  • Apparently there is only council collection (w referral from gp) and needle exchange. I have contacted the most local pharmacy that does needle exchange but they don't accept the type of bin I have.

  • Try neighbouring councils. If you are close to county borders you might find a pharmacy where you can drop off your sharps without needing to deal with your doctor.

  • Yes, I know you're right, and I'll have to do just that if I want to solve this problem, it just seems bonkers that I have to knock on doors carrying a box of medical waste around you know? And I fill one so infrequently (it has taken over a year to fill this one) that the next time I need it it will presumably be the whole palaver all over again.

    I think I should deffo get on the local needle exchange programme if for no other reason than to have the suitable receptacle to drop off, which will solve the current problem.

    We spend a lot of time in the Southwest and I will ask around there too. Maybe they have a more sensible approach.

  • It makes me really cross that it's so hard to do the right thing!

  • Please if you find out where to get rid of the sharps box, let me know. I don't want to tangle with the GP either. I am a diabetic so they give me the box, but it has my name and all on it. Box has both diabetics test needles and my own for b-12. I took my name off box but I don't know where to get rid of it properly.

  • debrandw246 if it helps no one goes in the box to look at the needles, it gets collected and incinerated. If I were you I'd just have it collected as usual via the collection of your insulin needles. You're doing nothing wrong.

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