How to Safely Dispose of Lancets and Test Strips at Home
Lancets, glucose strips, and ketone strips are medical waste that can be dangerous to those handling garbage, and therefore should not be thrown in the regular trash without taking sharps-disposal precautions.
The best way to dispose of lancets and strips is with a sharps container. These can be purchased at your local pharmacy for just a few dollars. See some examples of popular neighborhood stores that sell affordable sharps containers listed below.
At this time, Virta does not provide sharps containers to patients, so we have alternative, safe, ways to dispose of these items at home listed below.
Alternatives to Store-Bought Sharps Containers
- Re-cap your lancet after use: When using a new lancet, you will pull a small circular cap off the top of the needle before use. After use, you should press the needle back into this cap to ensure the needle is not exposed. When the needle is secured into the plastic cap, you are safe to dispose of this lancet in the regular trash. To minimize all risk, place the capped, used lancets into a puncture-proof container.
- Place your used strips into a sealed bag or container. Your used test strips should go into a tightly sealed bag or container before putting them into the trash to prevent any trash handlers from coming in contact with your blood.
- Puncture-proof containers: Dispose of your lancets and test strips in a puncture-proof container to prevent trash handlers from being exposed to pricks or blood. Examples of this are milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, or any other thick material container that needles would not puncture through. Do not use glass containers as they have the ability to break. These containers should not be recycled as the waste inside make them unable to be recycled.
Acknowledgment of Waste
We understand that testing blood glucose and ketone levels with blood glucose and ketone meter creates a lot of waste. We are researching ways to reduce and remove this waste from the environment by finding other ways to collect glucose and ketone biometrics from patients and by partnering with manufacturers who are researching and designing more eco-friendly testing solutions.