Janitorial Direct offers sharps storage, collection & disposal services to help you and your staff stay safe, adhere to various regulations and gain peace of mind.
Sharps Collection & Disposal
By using a sharps bin you can be confident that you, your staff, your colleagues, patients, customers or family members have the facility to safely store sharps until they are collected and disposed of correctly.
Sharps bins are specially designed containers used to store and dispose of sharps waste, such as knives, syringes, needles and other sharp instruments.
The bins and boxes help you to stay compliant and avoid injuries that could pose a hazard to health. The lids and labels are colour coded so that each bin is easily identifiable, ensuring that waste can be disposed of quickly and correctly.
Sharps bins are also tamper-proof so that once waste has been deposited into the bin, it can not be easily removed, thus limiting the likelihood of accidental exposure to injury, infection or cross-contamination.
From regular collection to replenishment, Janitorial Direct can take care of all your sharps bin disposal requirements - request a free quote today to find out more.
Which colour sharps bin do I need?
There are multiple sharps bins available, differentiated by the colour of the lid. Whilst the colour of the bins is highly important to ensure staff can quickly determine which is which, the bin also needs to be clearly and correctly labelled with the appropriate signage.
Orange Lid and Label - EWC Code 18-01-03
The orange-coloured sharps bin is the most common bin you will see and is more than likely the one you need. Anything that is sharp, that has not been contaminated by medicine (non-pharmaceutical) can go into this bin.
These bins are most commonly used in the healthcare industry to dispose of syringes used to take blood, or sharps that have been used in medical procedures and operations. Orange bins are also common in a variety of other industries that use sharps, such as tattoo parlours, kitchens and factories.
Yellow Lid and Label - EWC Code - 18-01-03
The yellow-coloured sharps bin is the next step up from the orange bin. You can dispose of everything in the yellow, which you would have put in the orange bin, but you can also dispose of sharps that have been contaminated with medicines.
However you cannot use this bin for cytotoxic or cytostatic medicines, these must be disposed of in a purple sharps bin. These are more common in the medical industry, for example, syringes that have been used to give an injection.
Purple Lid and Label - EWC Code 18-01-08
This sharps bin is one of the more specialist available. You can use the purple sharps bin to dispose of anything that you would have put in the orange or yellow bins, but this will also cater for sharps that have been contaminated by cytotoxic or cytostatic medicines as well.
This is most commonly used with the treatment of cancer and the disposal of infectious materials in the home and in medical environments.
Is sharps bin waste hazardous?
Sharps used in a healthcare setting for patients without infectious illnesses or the need for medication (such as blood donors) are categorised as non-hazardous sharps waste. However, the waste in sharps bins is generally treated as hazardous/special waste due to the potential risk of injury associated with sharp objects and instruments.
There are strict rules and guidelines when it comes to processing, storing and disposing of hazardous sharps waste, as these items can puncture the skin. This can cause injuries leading to infection or exposure to bloodborne pathogens such as HIV or hepatitis.
This is why sharps have to be contained in the correct way due to potential health risks, and they must be correctly labelled and classified so that they can be processed safely and
effectively. More information on safe hazardous waste management can be found in the Health Technical Memorandum (HTM 07-01).
Where should a sharps bin be kept?
As the waste in sharps bins can cause a serious risk to both humans and animals, it’s important to place them correctly in your facility to prevent injuries and accidents. They should be kept:
- Where they will not be knocked over
- Out of reach of children and animals
- At eye level where they are easy to see
- Not on the floor or above shoulder level
- Within easy reach of staff that need to use them
- Out of reach of patients or the general public
- In a safe and secure location
It is a good idea to secure your bin to a stable surface by either using a tray, wall bracket or trolley bracket. You should also ensure that any staff who may use or come into contact with the bin or operate in the same area is aware of the correct handling and disposal procedures.
How often should sharps bins be disposed of?
The frequency of collection will depend on your usage, but in general, sharp waste should not be kept at your premises for more than one month. They must always be disposed of when they are point they are three-quarters full.
At Janitorial Direct, we can collect sharps bins as regularly as you need, and you can adjust this to suit your needs.
What is the best way to dispose of sharps?
In accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1990, businesses that use, handle or produce clinical waste must provide the correct means of safe disposal - for example, businesses that may handle items like syringes, knives, tattoo & piercing needles or broken glass.
When using a sharps bin, it’s important to learn the correct method of disposal in order to minimise the risk of injury and contamination. When waste goes in the bin, it should be done without touching the sides of the container to minimise cross-contamination, or any accidents (such as the item bouncing off the bin).
Waste must never be pressed down in the bin in an attempt to save space as this can cause serious injury and contamination from further contact with the items. Unlike normal waste in bin bags, sharps boxes must be emptied when they are three-quarters full to reduce risk, as overflowing could cause injury when handling the bin.
What is the European Waste Catalogue (EWC)?
The European Waste Catalogue (EWC) is used to classify, identify and categorise different types of waste, providing a standardised way to describe and code waste materials, including sharps waste.
When it comes to classifying different types of sharps, the EWC provides specific codes based on certain factors, such as origin and composition. These codes are used for waste management and reporting purposes to help authorities and waste management companies track and manage different types of waste to ensure correct disposal and treatment.
What laws and regulations affect sharps bins?
There are various pieces of legislation that govern the disposal of sharps, and ensure the safe handling and disposal of potentially hazardous items. For example:
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: This legislation sets out the general duty of employers to ensure the health & safety of their employees. It requires employers to assess and control the risks associated with sharps waste and provide the correct disposal facilities.
Health and Safety (Sharps Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013: These regulations address the safe use and disposal of sharps instruments in healthcare settings and require employers to undertake risk assessments, provide adequate means of disposal, and ensure proper training.
Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005: These regulations govern the management and disposal of hazardous waste, which includes certain types of sharps waste.
Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012: These regulations apply to the disposal of non-hazardous healthcare waste, including some types of sharps waste.
The Safe Management of Healthcare Waste Memorandum (Health Technical Memorandum 07-01): This document provides detailed guidance on the safe management of healthcare waste, including sharps waste, covering various aspects such as waste segregation, storage, transportation, and disposal.
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