How to Dispose of Diabetes Test Strips

Proper disposal of your diabetes test strips indicates that you’re being considerate of others. Leaving such medical wastes lying around is risky to everyone, especially children who are fond of taking everything for toys and wouldn’t understand the dangers of playing with used test strips.

how to dispose of diabetes test strips

Your test strips come with disposal instructions that inform you on how to properly dispose of them. You’ll see this instruction on the package. Some people do complain it isn’t detailed enough, so we will simplify things for you.

Disposing of Your Diabetes Test Strips – The First Steps

To properly dispose of the test strips, you will need a big container that you can seal. Label this container because you can no longer use it for any other thing. You can write “Waste Material: Do Not Recycle”. Nevertheless, these safety measures aren’t enough, you also need to keep them out of the reach of children and pets.

You can settle for a thick plastic container; it will do the job perfectly. It could be a used detergent bottle, but do not use a water bottle because they are too light to hold the medical waste safely.

You can also settle for metallic containers. Some containers you shouldn’t settle for are clear plastic bottles, glass, or any other kind of container that might be mistaken as a food container. Whichever container you settle for should have a good/working seal mechanism.

If you’re uncertain about the containers in your house and how safe they might be, or you can’t find a strong robust container, you can visit the pharmacy to get containers specifically made for such disposals. Either it’s a container in your home or from the store, make sure you seal the opening with heavy duct tape so it can remain closed.

How to Safely Dispose of Your Diabetes Test Strips

You’ve taken the necessary steps to keep your diabetes test strips safe from friends, families, or visitors. Now you’ll have to take it out of your house and dispose of it forever. To do this, you’ll have to first check the rules in your locality on the disposal of pen needles, syringes, used test strips, lancets, and other medical/hazardous materials.

If you’ll be disposing of it in a trash can, never dispose of it directly in the trash without first putting it in a sealed container (as suggested above). Doing this makes you a considerate human who cares about others.

If your diabetes test strips are with you when you are on a trip, you’ll need to keep them with you and don’t leave them lying around carelessly, even if you’re in your hotel room. Also, make sure you check the local laws of the city you are in so you don’t violate any law pertaining to this.

You can visit or contact the local health department for additional information. Most will have a website that you can visit to get more information easily. Most cities also have support groups as well as resources within the community.

You can speak to these support groups, and they will offer you guidelines on how to properly dispose of it, by showing you the dedicated waste collection sites where labelled sharps containers are located.

If the area you’re in doesn’t have medical waste handling. You should be able to mail your test strips to designated collection sites. If this is possible, make sure you check the US Postal Service guidelines for shipping hazardous medical waste. Most importantly, stick with the guidelines so everyone can be safe.

Can You Recycle Diabetes Test Strips?

Due to the nature of these test strips, and the fact that they would have come in contact with blood, it’s impossible to recycle everything. Only a few parts of the test strips can be recycled, and these parts are the ones that didn’t come in contact with blood.

The lancet and syringe are two parts you shouldn’t even attempt to recycle. It is impossible to cost-effectively and safely determine if the loose syringe has been infected with a bloodborne pathogen.

The part that is safe for you to recycle is the paper box that the testing strips is placed inside. You can also recycle outdated or broken electronic meters during special collections and at e-waste drop-off centres.

The polypropylene caps that are used in shielding the syringe is another part that you should be able to recycle. Nevertheless, you need to still check with your waste haulier or recycling center before you recycle these caps so that you can know if they accept that part before doing any recycling preparation.

As said earlier, lancets and syringes are two parts you should never even try to recycle. Dispose of them properly as explained above.

Ways to Save on Test Strips

The only way to keep down the cost of diabetes test strips without relying on your insurance company is by selling your extra test strips. There is a possibility you might have extra test strips that haven’t expired and most likely won’t expire anytime soon. Either you over-ordered or you’re on your road to recovery, you can sell these test strips. There are lots of people out there who need it.

To sell your unused test strips, you’ll have to find a professional strip buyer and offer it up for sale.

Another way to keep costs down is by buying unused test strips from a third party. If you’re not covered by insurance, or for one reason or the other you haven’t been able to get it, you can easily get buyers who are willing to sell at a reduced price by searching online.

You can also visit local diabetes clinics, sometimes people offer their test strips free of charge to help those who can’t afford them.


Diabetes test strips aren’t something that should be lying around freely. After using them they become contagious, and kids or pets can easily come in contact with them and fall sick.

Also, when throwing it away in the trash can, you need to consider the sanitation workers who might come in contact with it, that is why it is necessary for you to put it in a container, seal it and label it. By doing this, it will make everyone stay safe and healthy.