Did you know that approximately 18,000 sharps incidents are reported in Australia every year? Correct sharps disposal is vital to the health and safety of our community and environment. Incorrect disposal can expose people to infection risks and blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis B, C and HIV.
Ace Waste has been providing professional waste management and sharps disposal services in QLD and VIC since 1987. We support healthcare facilities of all sizes and scopes, including hospitals, doctors, dentists, and vets.
In this blog, we’ll clarify:
- What are medical sharps?
- The different types of medical sharps
- Where and how to dispose of sharps containers
- Industries we help
What are medical sharps?
Medical sharps include any object with sharp edges or points capable of cutting or puncturing the skin. Common materials treated as sharps waste include:
- Hypodermic needles
- Contaminated and broken glass ampoules
- Pasteur Pipette
- IV Catheters
Improper sharps disposal endangers the well-being of the public and the environment, leading to costly compliance and safety issues. Creating a detailed waste management plan that adheres to all state and federal regulations will ensure your business remains compliant, safe, and efficient.
The different types of medical sharps
Non-contaminated sharps are sharp objects that don’t carry biohazardous, chemical, or radioactive substances or residue. They have the ability to puncture the skin even though they were not originally designed for this purpose.
This category includes unused sharp items like glass pieces, scissors, or hard plastic materials.
Biohazardous Contaminated Sharps
These are sharps that have crossed paths with any trace of biohazardous materials (anything potentially contaminated with infectious biological substances such as blood, bodily fluids etc.).
- Surgical blades
- Other surgical instruments and apparatuses
Chemically Contaminated Sharps
These sharps, usually razor blades, scalpels and microscope slides, have come into contact with hazardous chemicals and substances (not radioactive material). Hazardous substances and chemicals can include:
- Paints and Solvents
- Poisons and Toxins
- Pesticides and Herbicides
- Acids and Alkalis
Correct sharps disposal
In Australia, there are strict sharps handling and disposal rules to mitigate the risk of exposure, injury, infection, and contamination. To promote correct disposal, there is a legal requirement to install sharps bins or containers throughout your practice. These must be leak and puncture-proof, clearly labelled, and correctly colour-coded based on their contaminant.
The directors of Ace Waste established a sharps manufacturing company known as Ace Sharps. They’ve crafted Sharps Containers and Protect+ Containers to ease on-site sharps waste management requirements and decrease the chances of needlestick injuries, cross-contamination, and incorrect waste segregation. Ace Sharps offers a more sustainable, clean and ergonomic option/design.
These containers can also be offered with specialised brackets and wall mounts for added safety, security, compliance and space efficiency.
How to dispose of sharps containers in Australia
Once the sharps containers are full, secure the lid tightly and store them away from the public, especially children and pets. Dispose of the full containers at a designated community sharps drop-off location, or arrange for a sharps waste collection through Ace Waste.
There are many sharps disposal services across Australia. You can find this information on your local council websites. However, if you run a small to medium-sized business, there is a legal requirement for the lawful disposal of sharps waste. Ace Waste is a registered and lawful disposal service provider. We can assist with compliance, which in turn saves you time, money and stress.
Ace Waste’s world-class facilities & management
Ace Waste’s expert strategies are tried, tested and adhere to strict compliance, ensuring your facilities’ waste management practices are relevant and streamlined. We can identify where and how your business can improve waste processes, offering long-term sustainable outcomes whilst saving time and money.
Our approved waste facilities in Brisbane and Melbourne use proven and effective methods for secure and sustainable sharps disposal. We guarantee the total destruction of your sharps waste, ensuring 100% compliance and peace of mind.
Industries we help
Ace Waste provides fully compliant sharps containers and disposal services in QLD and VIC to the following facilities and industries:
- GP and Medical Practices
- Dental Practices
- Veterinary Clinics
- Aged Care Facilities
- Tattoo Parlours
Can’t see your industry? Call our friendly team and we will see how we can help. Otherwise, click below to organise a FREE quote now.
Gain the Ace Waste advantage
Get in touch
Contact us for a free waste management quote or to organise a professional waste audit.
Review your personalised plan
Once we confirm your facility materials and practices, we’ll present a comprehensive waste management plan.
Order bins & set collection times
Next, we will provide your facility with durable Sharps containers and organise the best collection times for you.
Business as usual
Our team will collect and dispose of your waste according to all regulations and expectations, so you can continue your daily operations with confidence.