Disposing of medicines

This must be carried out with care to prevent environmental contamination and accidental human or animal contamination.

There are three ways of safe disposal.

  • Empty bottles - These should be placed into a plastic bag and disposed of within the local authority guidelines or rules.
  • Syringes - Needles must always be removed from the syringe, and the syringes placed in polythene bags, marked "Syringes only" and incinerated.
  • Needles and needle holders - These should be placed into a Sharps box, to be taken away for incineration. A Sharps box is a very strong polythene box, with an automatically closing lid where the needles can be dropped through and retained safely. It is good practice to cut the tip off the needles so that they cannot be misused. Simple used - needle guillotines are available for this.