initial medical sharps bins disposal

Sharps Bins

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Sharps Bin Service

Sharp bins play a vital role in the safe disposal of used needles and other sharps in preventing injury. Initial Medical’s sharps bins provide safe storage and disposal for all categories of sharps waste. Our range of bins is UN-approved, colour-coded, and available in various sizes to meet your requirements and ensure waste is segregated correctly prior to collection.


As part of our sharps bin disposal service, your local Initial Medical consultant will work with you to understand your requirements and ensure your sharps waste streams are safe and compliant. Helping you to protect your staff and the environment and mitigate the risk of cross-contamination and spread of infection from improper disposal.

 

What Is a Sharps Bin?

A sharps bin is a specialised container designed to safely collect and store used sharps, such as needles, syringes, pipettes and blades. Sharps bins are made from puncture resistant plastic and have a sealed lid with a disposal door to help minimise the risk of needlestick injuries. Proper disposal of sharps is essential to prevent injuries, reduce the risk of infections, and protect the environment.

What goes in a Sharps Bin?

  • Needles and syringes
  • Surgical blades and scalpels
  • Lancets and lancet devices such as finger stick blood samplers
  • Razor blades
  • Broken glass

Types of Sharps Bins

Sharps bins come in various types to accommodate different needs and environments:

Size and Capacity Variations

The size and capacity of sharps bins can vary to accommodate different levels of waste production. Available in a range of sizes from 0.5 litres to 32 litres, and colour-coded to fit your working practices. If you are unsure of the size you require, our Initial Medical team will be happy to advise which is best for you based on your needs and requirements.

Which sharps bin to use? Understanding the colour code

Our sharps bin range is colour-coded in accordance with the NHS colour code guidelines to allow sharps users in your practice to easily identify which container they need to use. To help educate your team on following the correct waste stream, we also have free downloadable colour code posters.

Orange Sharps Bins

  • Orange lidded sharps bins are for the storage and disposal of sharps that do not contain or are not contaminated with medicinal products or their residues.
  • These containers are commonly used in the healthcare industry to dispose of sharps items used during operations and syringes used to take blood samples.
  • These may also be required in private practice for beauty treatments such as acupuncture, podiatry, and tattoo inking requiring sharps disposal, or where sharps are used in the manufacturing processes.

Yellow Sharps Bins

  • Yellow lidded sharps bins are for the storage and disposal of sharps containing or contaminated with medicinal products and their residues, such as needles used to give injections.
  • Not all medicinal products can be disposed into yellow lidded bins; those with cytotoxic and cytostatic properties must be placed into the purple lidded bins.

Purple Sharps Bins

  • Purple lidded sharps bins are for the storage and disposal of sharps contaminated with cytotoxic or cytostatic medicines.
  • For example, needles or syringes used to treat patients with cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs would need to be disposed into a purple lidded bin.
  • Because of the hazardous nature of these sharps instruments, the purple waste stream is usually treated by high-temperature incineration and must therefore be kept as a separate waste stream.

Get a Sharps Collection From a Sharps Disposal Expert

We support businesses with safe management and sharps disposal. As part of our sharps bin collection service, your local Initial Medical consultant will work with you to understand your requirements and ensure your sharps waste streams are safe and compliant.

  • Safe onsite sharps disposal: - We provide you with ISO and UN-approved sharps bins for you to have on site. These are colour-coded to your specific waste stream needs.

  • Sharps bin collection: - Once full our ADR-accredited technicians who are licensed to carry clinical waste will collect and transport your sharps bins for onward disposal. As part of our sharps bin collection service, we provide you with paperless waste documentation available to view and download from our customer portal myInitial.

  • Scalable solutions: - Our bins come in a range of sizes, with point-of-use systems available so we can tailor your sharps service to suit your needs.

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Make your sharps disposal more sustainable with our eco-friendly sharps bins

Our sharps bins are made from at least 40% recycled plastic, and are fully compliant with UN3291 and ISO 23907-1:2019 standards.

Eco sharps bins

Our Eco Sharps Bin Specifications:

  • Sustainable solution made from at least 40% recycled plastic
  • Puncture-resistant and seepage-proof
  • Opaque coloured doors, clearly showing when the door is in the temporary or fully closed position
  • Suitable for use with wall and trolley mounting brackets
  • Colour-coded to meet NHS colour code guidelines
  • Full range of sizes from 0.5L boxes through to 32L bins available
  • Point of use disposal trays available to fit 1L and 2.5L bins
  • All sharps containers contain at least 40% recycled plastic
  • Certified/Comply to ISO 9001, BS EN ISO 23907 and UN3291

Frequently Asked Questions About Sharps Bins


  • How often should sharps bins be disposed of?

    Following NHS guidelines, sharps bins should be disposed of every three months, as an infection control measure. To ensure their safe disposal, all sharps bins must be fully closed before reaching three-quarters full. Depending on your sharp waste output, we can provide additional bins and tailor the frequency of your service.


  • Where and how should sharps bins be stored?

    With safety in mind, you must keep your sharps bins on a temporary lock in between uses of the container to prevent the risk of sharps injuries. Once three quarters full, your sharps bins must be fully locked and stored in a secure storage area in accordance with the Controlled Waste Regulations 2012.
    Your storage area must be locked at all times and your sharps bins should be segregated from other healthcare waste products in your practice. 


  • How to open a closed sharps container?

    If the sharps bins are on a temporary lock, simply open the disposal door to dispose of the sharps. However, once fully closed the sharps bin becomes fully sealed and there is no way to open them. Should this happen we can collect your sharps bin and provide you with a new one.


  • How can I restrict access to sharps bins whilst in use?

    Best practice is to keep your sharps bin on a temporary lock whilst not in use.
    Where extra precautions need to be taken, we also provide Safer Sharps Cabinets. These welded steel cabinets remove access to sharps containers whilst in use. They are particularly useful in high-risk environments, such as drug rehabilitation centres.


  • Where to get a Sharps Bin for Personal Sharp Use ?

    You can obtain sharps bins from several sources, including:

    • Via prescription from pharmacies
    • Healthcare Facilities: Hospitals, clinics, and doctors' offices may provide sharps bins to patients.
    • Local council and healthcare provider: Contact your local council for information on sharps disposal programs in your area to prevent injuries, reduce the risk of infections, and protect the environment.