initial medical sharps bins disposal

Sharps Bins

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Sharps Bin Service

Initial Medical’s sharps bins provide safe storage and disposal for all categories of sharps waste. We provide an extensive range of UN-approved colour-coded sharps bins and sharps boxes to ensure waste is segregated correctly prior to collection by a local Initial expert.

Our orange, yellow and purple lidded sharps bins are designed to safely store needles and syringes, as well as other sharp instruments, preventing injuries in your practice and ensuring legal compliance.

All of our sharps containers have been tested to the most stringent quality and safety standards, ensuring the safety and legal compliance of your practice. Protect your practice by contacting an Initial Medical specialist today to learn more about our sharps bin service and receive your free compliance auditing survey.

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Colour-coded sharps bins

The last thing you need in your workplace is confusion. Our sharps bin range is colour-coded according to the NHS guidelines to allow sharps users in your practice to easily identify which container their needle, syringe or other sharps implement should be disposed into.

Available in a range of sizes from 0.4 litres to 35 litres, our colour-coded sharps bins are designed to fit your working practices and include mounting brackets to place your sharps bins as close as possible to the point of use. Your local Initial Medical consultant will be able to advise you on which bin size is the best fit to make sure you have adequate container storage between waste collections.

Read more on each colour and our sharps container specifications below.

Orange lid

Orange sharps bins are for the storage and disposal of sharps that are not containing or 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.

Orange sharps bins are also commonplace in private practices where beauty treatments such as accupuncture, podiatry and tattoo inking require sharps disposal or where sharps are used in the manufacturing process of a product.

Yellow lid

Yellow 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 lid

Purple sharps bins are for the disposal of sharps including those 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.

Safely dispose of sharps waste

The safe management of sharps waste is vital in preventing sharps injuries to staff or patients, particularly from needles. Healthcare workers, in dentistries especially, are more at risk of a needlestick injury than any other industry, meaning that sharps safety is crucial in healthcare practices and clinics.

As part of our waste management service, your local Initial Medical consultant will work with you to ensure your sharps waste streams are safe and compliant, giving full protection to your business, staff and patients.

Who collects your sharps bins?

Sharps containers supplied by Initial Medical are collected by our local technicians, trained extensively in customer service and in sharps safety. They are happy to answer your questions and find out how else they can help with your medical waste disposal.  

Other frequently asked questions about sharps bins


  • How often should sharps bins be disposed of?

    To ensure their safe disposal, all sharps bins should be closed and collected before reaching three quarters full. If your sharps bin reaches a higher point before closing, we advise speaking to your local Initial Medical consultant to arrange more regular waste collections.

    The Department of Health in the HTM 07-01* advises that after three months, even if yet to reach three quarters full, your sharps bin should be disposed of in any case. As an infection control measure, you should not leave your sharps bin open for any longer than three months.

    *Health Technical Memorandum 07-01, Safe management of healthcare waste, Department of Health (p.122)


  • Where and how should sharps bins be stored?

    It is important to give due consideration when choosing how and where to store your sharps bins.

    Initial Medical's sharps bin range includes optional wall or cabinet mounting brackets, which secure your sharps bin out of the reach of children whilst in use.

    You must keep your sharps containers on a temporary lock at all times. Once three quarters full, your sharps containers must be fully locked and stored in a well-chosen storage area for the safety of your staff and our collecting technicians.

    Your storage area must be locked at all times and your sharps containers should be segregated from other healthcare waste products in your practice. External wheelie bins also act as an excellent solution to secure and segregate your sharps waste prior to collection.


  • How can I further restrict access to sharps bins whilst 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.