Reusable sharps containers

We are becoming accustomed to re-usable sharps containers, not least because of the bullish advertising of their sole manufacturer.

But now, there might be a new kid on the block. One that is cheaper – I presume – one that is far more simple and without reliance on a possibly over-engineered mechanism with in-built resilience for many cycles of use.

Rehrig Pacific Co.’s Sharps Tank is an FDA 510(k) cleared, 17-gal. reusable sharps container that may be used in clinical and laboratory environments for the disposal of both small and large sharps.

It has been FDA cleared as a Class II Medical Device and is also DOT approved, PGII rated for bio-hazardous waste collection. Unlike single-use disposable sharps containers, the 100% recyclable and reusable Sharps Tank is both economically and environmentally sustainable with a life cycle of hundreds of uses.

Works in areas with limited space and includes a wide opening, side-hinged main lid and a transparent sub-lid for more restricted access and monitoring fill capacity. Each lid has a two-position latch; one for daily use, the other a full lock position for transport. Optional accessories include a hands-free foot pedal dolly and a molded four-caster rolling dolly designed for the clinical environment.

Tank is designed for automated handling and is nestable for efficient shipping and storing when empty. The high-density polyethylene main lid and container along with the polypropylene sub-lid are made with an antimicrobial additive for additional clinical protection.

It looks like a standard container but one with, one presumes, a removable and re-fixable lid. However it looks, it may be a cheaper option that the present player in the reusable market. Perhaps the difference will be in the reliability of reprocessing processes, and the number of cycles of use possible for each container, and the means of tracking to ensure no container is used excessively.

Importantly, it looks like a standard waste bin, is compact and stackable. Scaled up, perhaps it will be a suitable replacement for the standard sack and sack holder?

The new Clinismart system which is positioned as a shared resource to be moved around a ward or clinic may have significant drawbacks. But this much simpler system, as a direct replacement for each existing waste sack and holder may offer a degree of flexibility and practicality, with cost savings against staff time and the cleaning necessary of fixed sack holders. This may be a model for future development.


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