Needles are considered part of a hospital’s medical waste, just like bodily fluids, drugs, and chemicals, but improper disposal can be dangerous for it’s own reasons. Used needles could carry a dangerous disease or virus, and could accidentally infect someone else. Additionally, an unprotected needle is sharp and could poke and hurt someone unexpectedly.
Hospitals need to put all of their used needles in sharps containers (as well as blades, syringes, saws, etc.). This hard container protects the needle when it is actually disposed of, protecting those who may ever come in contact with it. Another option for hospitals is a mailing system, where they fill up the sharps containers they receive and then mail them back to the company when full. The containers are then put in a landfill.
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