Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Sharps Bin

Being the lucky girl I am taking injectable meds for my arthritis, I naturally have a sharps bin at home. You know the sort of thing, BRIGHT YELLOW with a tasteful blue lid. It lives on a shelf beside some science magazines in my hall, as I’m kinda limited on space. Basically, what I’m saying is it sticks out like a sore thumb.

At work, it makes sense for the sharps bins to be blindingly obvious (even though I have trouble seeing them when I go looking for them “it’s over there under the sink” “where? I can’t see it” “There *shakes bucket*”). In the lab they’re a bucket full of mysterious hazard (well, a mix of microscope slides and syringe needles), we work with dangerous things and need a place to put them when we’re done, and we need to be absolutely certain no one accidentally thinks they’re normal waste for the cleaners to take. In fact, we have not only tasteful blue lids but purple (for things like gels contaminated with ethidium bromide), giant all yellow bins (for when a 5L blue lid bin isn’t enough) and I’ve also seen posters with black lidded sharps bins (I have yet to see one in the flesh).

At home, it’d be nice if it wasn’t so bright yellow. The first day my mother spotted it, she started crying, coz she didnt realise when I said I was moving to injectable meds, that I meant I was moving to things that would be injected. After explaining to her that it’s fine, they really work, and they have to be injected coz pharma hasn’t yet mastered the dark art of keeping proteins from being digested (seriously, it’s what your digestive system is made for), she was much happier. So it’d be nice if it didnt upset my houseguests (or alert others to my condition, sometimes you don’t want to share all the details of your life and illness).

Of course, the downside of a bright yellow bin is outweighed by having a magic bin you can put broken glass and old sewing needles in without having to wrap them in paper 🙂