Razor blades are one of the most valuable sharps in every household, but sometimes they outlive their usefulness. A time will come when you’d need to use a razor blade only to realize it can’t serve you as it has always. It’s at this point you should consider disposing of it.
Razor blades are dangerous and can easily cause injury even when they have outlived their usefulness. Therefore, you should not have them lying around carelessly, which implies safe disposal.
This post will discuss in detail the safe, sustainable, and eco-friendly ways to dispose of razor blades.
Disposing Of Razor Blades – Single Or Multiple
Before going into the details, there are two ways to dispose of razor blades safely, and the suitable method for you will depend on the quantity of the razor blades. You cannot dispose of multiple razor blades the same way you dispose of a single razor blade.
Therefore, you should choose the best way you prefer to dispose of your razor blades. However, you can read both methods to understand better and choose the one that will serve you best.
See Also: How to dispose of old pills
How To Dispose Of Single Razor Blades
The best way to dispose of a single razor blade is to dispose of it with regular trash. But there are some required steps to ensure safety for you and other people handling the garbage trash.
Please note that this method is only suitable if you need to dispose of only a few razor blades, and it would be best to dispose of multiple razor blades if you have more than two or three razor blades at a time. Let’s see the steps to dispose of single razor blades.
Wrap The Sharp Edges
The first step in disposing of single razor blades is to wrap the sharp edges in thick paper or cardboard layers. It is essential to wrap the blade to ensure it does not injure you or other people while loading and off-loading the trash.
Gently tape the razor blade to a piece of thick paper and fold as many times as possible until you have successfully concealed the blade in the blade. Use duct tape to hold it together when you have wrapped it with enough paper.
You can also use cardboard if you are unsure which paper to use. Follow the same steps above, but less cardboard will be enough.
To further ensure safety, you can tape a piece of cardboard to both ends of the paper bundle, and it will ensure that no sharp end of the razor blade sneaks out of the taping.
You can also learn how to dispose of expired medication here.
Label The Wrapped Razor Blade
The next step after taping up the razor blade is to label it. You do not want to dispose of the razor blade anyhow, but to dispose of it safely; hence, it would be best to label it so that it will alert the garbage disposal agents that handle it.
Write an inscription announcing the pack’s content onto both sides of the wrapped packet. It would help if you used a permanent marker, so it will not clean off easily.
If you are thinking of what inscription to write, you could write ‘razor blade for disposal,’ ‘used razor blade,’ or other related phrases.
Dispose Of In The Regular Garbage Bin
Now that you have carefully wrapped the razor blade in thick paper, taped, and labeled it, you can dump it in the garbage bin. It is a safe way to dispose of a razor blade, except if you are dealing with multiple razor blades.
However, you should ensure disposing of a razor blade with regular trash conforms to the safety guidelines of your local area. If it does not, you should refrain from the practice as it will be illegal.
But, you can speak with your regular waste collection company or visit your local government’s website to learn other methods that apply to your community.
In addition, please do not make the mistake of disposing of a blade in the trash bin without wrapping and labeling it. If you do, you will expose yourself and trash collectors to the risk of injury. Besides the injury, unprotected razor blades in the bin can become contaminated and spread diseases when they cut anyone.
Lastly, if you cannot dispose of your razor blades in the garbage bin or have more razor blades, then you can consider the other method below for disposing of multiple razor blades.
How To Dispose Of Multiple Razor Blades
Disposing of multiple razor blades is a little more advanced than disposing of a single razor blade, and you should consider this method if you need to dispose of about three or more razor blades at a time.
The risk of getting injured from multiple razor blades is higher. Therefore, there are some safety precautions you should take before the disposal, and you will learn about them below:
Safety Precautions To Dispose Of Multiple Razor Blades
Below are the precautions that will help you to dispose of multiple razor blades without compromising your safety.
Use Sharps Disposal Containers
We cannot overemphasize the importance of sharps disposal containers in the disposal of sharps like razor blades, needles, syringes, lancets, etc.
A sharps container is usually a hard plastic bin for safely disposing of sharp medical instruments. These sharps disposal containers have small openings on their lids that allow you to deposit razor blades without opening the container. They usually come in red and are well labeled to indicate the dangers of what they contain.
You can find sharps disposal containers in pharmacies, medical supply companies, health care providers, and some online stores like Amazon. Most razor blade manufacturing companies also manufacture sharps disposal containers, but you can purchase one from these places above if your manufacturer does not have one.
The advantage of having a sharps disposal container from the razor blade’s manufacturer is that these “blade banks’ are designed specifically for their product.
Using sharps disposal containers can also give you the advantage of disposing of needles and other sharp objects like EpiPen. You can check the FDA’s guidelines on sharps disposal containers and how to use them.
Place Old Razor Blades In Their Original Packaging
If your razor blade’s packaging comes with an inbuilt disposal compartment, you can put old used blades in the disposal compartment when you take out a new one. But, it would be best to be careful when handling these old razor blades to prevent injury.
Though old blades are less likely to fall off the disposal compartment, you should store them upright to be on the safer side. Also, ensure you do not use these disposal compartments for blades of different brands as they may not fit in. In addition, forcing blades that do not fit into disposal compartments could lead to severe injuries.
Inbuilt disposal compartments are good alternatives for sharps disposal containers. You will not have to go through the stress of purchasing a sharps disposal container if your manufacturer provides one with the razor blade. However, you will not be able to dispose of other sharps like needles in a razor blade In-built disposal compartment.
Use An Alternative Sharps Disposal Container
Suppose your razor blade manufacturer does not produce sharps disposal containers, and you cannot get one for yourself due to location, low budget, or other reasons. In that case, you can opt for a lidded container as an alternative.
You can choose an old medicine bottle, peanut butter jar, or soda can as far as it can fit razor blades. This designated ‘blade bank’ should be made of an unbreakable, puncture-proof material with a secure lid. You should also label it properly to alert other people of its contents. Depending on size, you can also use this alternative sharps container to dispose of other sharps.
Tape And Label Sharps Disposal Container
It is best to begin the disposal process of sharps containers when they are three-quarters full and not wait until they are filled.
When you are ready to dispose of your sharps disposal container, wrap it up with duct tape, and label it on all sides. Using an inbuilt disposal container, try not to cover the biohazard warnings with duct tape.
Keep Sharps Disposal Containers In A Safe Place
It is crucial to ensure sharps disposal containers are kept in a safe place, especially away from the reach of children and pets. Keep the lid tight, and ensure you keep it in an upright position so it won’t fall.
Disposing of the Sharps Disposal Container
Now that you have safely sealed your razor blades in a sharps disposal container, you can dispose of the sharps container in the following ways:
Dispose Of With Regular Trash
Depending on the garbage disposal regulations in your area, you can dispose of adequately taped and well-labeled sharps disposal containers with your regular household trash. Place the sharps container beside the regular garbage, and your waste collectors will lick it up if it is allowed in your area.
You can check the website of the United States EPA for guidance on waste disposal.
Hazardous Household Wastes Collection Sites
Razor blades can be hazardous, and you can dispose of the sharps disposal container at hazardous household waste collection sites.
Professionals at the sites will handle the sharps container and its content and adequately keep it away from landfills. You can find a close hazardous household waste collection site at RCRAInfo Web.
Supervised Collection Sites
In some communities, you will find collection sites willing to dispose of sharps containers for you, but it is not common in every area.
You can check your community guidelines to see what is applicable and if you can drop off sharps disposal containers at a given location.