Sharps disposal in educational institution

August 14, 2023

Promoting Safe Sharps Disposal in Educational Institutions

As students and teachers gear up to head back to school, it's important to consider the health and well-being of those in the classroom who live with diabetes and other illnesses that require self-injectable medications. It is estimated that over 37 million Americans have diabetes, and 96 million Americans aged 18 and older are prediabetic, according to the American Diabetes Association. Furthermore, an estimated 283,000 Americans under 20 have been diagnosed with diabetes, highlighting the need for support services for those managing diabetes while attending school.

As more people are taking self-injectable medications for common conditions such as psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and diabetes, it becomes crucial for educational institutions to provide a solution that addresses the health needs of all individuals on campus. Installing sharps waste containers in easily accessible locations for students, teachers, and staff —such as restrooms— can offer a safe, convenient, and anonymous way for individuals to discard any needles they are using.

Proper sharps disposal is not just a matter of personal convenience; it also helps protect janitorial staff from potential bloodborne pathogens (BBP) transmission that can occur if uncapped needles are discarded in the regular trash rather than in a puncture-resistant sharps container. Educational institutions throughout the United States can seek a trusted partner that provides quality services for sharps disposal in public spaces, like schools.

Accessible Sharps Disposal Solutions for Schools

Trusted partners like Stericycle offer cost-effective services such as SafeDropTM Sharps Mail Back Solutions for the safe, convenient, and anonymous disposal of used needles. Through SafeDropTM, Stericycle offers flexible sharps waste mail-back solutions with the following features:

  • Cost-efficient solution for sharps waste: Stericycle provides sharps containers in different sizes to accommodate large and small volumes of sharps waste. SafeDropTM solutions can be packaged and mailed via the United States Postal Service. In select markets and for high-volume use, SafeDropTM features traditional route-based services with Stericycle service technicians managing container exchange.
  • All-in-one sharps management kit: SafeDropTM mail back kits include everything needed to collect sharps and mail them back to Stericycle for treatment and disposal. With a convenient auto-replenishment option, it is easy to manage container inventory.
  • USPS Approved: Stericycle’s sharps mail back containers and kits are United States Postal Service (USPS) approved for transportation via the mail.
  • FDA Approved: Stericycle’s sharps containers are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved.
  • The sharps mail-back program includes:
    • Sharps container and plastic liner
    • Step-by-step instructions
    • Pre-addressed, postage-paid return shipping labels
    • Barcoded return shipping container
    • Prepaid sharps treatment and disposal
    • Serialized tracking documents

In addition, Stericycle understands the unique challenges faced by educational institutions when it comes to managing regulated medical waste. That's why Stericycle provides customized solutions tailored to the specific needs of each facility, whether it be a local community school district or a large university or college. Moreover, this type of initiative contributes to the corporate social responsibility of institutions, as it supports the well-being of individuals in their communities.

SafeDropTM sharps disposal in restrooms is one of Stericycle's Safe Community Solutions aimed at creating positive and healthy environments. It offers peace of mind by providing safe and convenient access to sharps disposal, even when away from home. Many individuals who require self-injected medications, such as those with diabetes, prefer the privacy of restrooms to administer their treatments discreetly and safely.

Stericycle offers sharps containers in various sizes that can be securely mounted to restroom walls. One popular option is a sleek stainless-steel wall cabinet that accommodates a 1.4-quart sharps container. The service options provided are:

  • Full-service: In this route-based option, containers are securely mounted to restroom walls. Once full, Stericycle personnel will swap out the containers, package them for shipment, and leave them for USPS pick-up.
  • Self-service: This option includes a sharps mail-back kit containing everything needed to collect sharps. Once full, customer personnel can swap out and package the containers, then ship them using the prepaid USPS return box.

Learn more about additional Stericycle Safe Community Solutions, including options to help staff and students safely dispose of unwanted medications. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a Sharp?

Sharp is a term for objects with sharp points or edges that can puncture or cut skin or packaging, such as needles, syringes, lancets, auto injectors, infusion sets, and connection needles that are contaminated with a pathogen.

Why Might Educational Institutions Want a Trusted Partner for Sharps Waste Management?

Educational facilities generate various forms of regulated medical waste at the institutional level, whether through practical lab tutorials, on-campus health centers, or other day-to-day operations. Individuals attending or working for educational institutions may also be generating medical waste on their own while on campus, which would benefit from a centralized and organized collection process.

Stericycle supports educational institutions by offering solutions for regulated medical waste management and safe community solutions. This includes offering public sharps disposal options to help protect everyone on campus, promote health and well-being, and safeguard the environment.

What are the Benefits of the SafeDropTM Sharps Disposal in Restrooms Service?

The key benefits of this service include:

  • Promoting a safe, healthy, and positive environment for your employees, students, and staff.
  • Protecting your staff from accidental needlestick injuries when cleaning restrooms and removing trash.
  • Elevating your company’s brand image by demonstrating your commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

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