Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Confession


Well, I'm not exactly sure what to do with my old sewing machine needles. I have this vague feeling that I'm not supposed to just throw them in the trash, so I've been collecting them in an old prescription pill bottle. But now I don't know what to do with them...
How about you? What do you do with your old sewing machine needles? Do you think it's okay to just throw them away? Or do you do something special with them?

18 comments:

Donna Hodgson said...

I keep an old empty spice container near my machine and when it's full, I toss the whole thing in the garbage. You can also use empty 35mm film canisters. But you have to toss them when they're full and make sure you have replacements. The empty pill bottles are perfect, too.

Teddylyn said...

I just toss mine as well. Collect, bottle gets full, throw in the trash. Do they need to be recycled? I'm curious about this too!

eword10 said...

Oh thank you for bringing this up!!! I have been wondering what to do with the old ones.

emelle said...

I put mine in an empty needle contained and then discard...the pill bottle is good too.

As I look at them in your bottle I am reminded of three dimensional type collage art, etc. and if you knew someone who was into making these type items, they may find them interesting.

emelle said...

oooooppps....that was supposed to say "container"

Lisa Laree said...

I've got mine in a film canister but it's nearly full. Those film canisters are rather scarce anymore; I think the last roll of film I purchased was just shrink-wrapped; not to mention the fact that our digital cameras do not require a purchase of film! I like the pill bottle idea...that will probably be the replacement for the film canister when the time comes!

Amy (badskirt) said...

I have been throwing them out until not. I love the idea of them being in a pill bottle and think you could almost make a contemporary art piece centered around them... oh the ideas!

I'm also liking the 3d scuplture idea. I'm saving mine from now on!

goodworks1 said...

My storage container looks exactly like yours.

About 15 years ago I used up all my old dull needles following Jackie Dob(d?)son's Rug book (Creative Machine press, I think.) Luckily I didn't manage to ruin my Bernina, but I definitely broke a lot of needles sewing fabric-wound clothesline side by side! In fact I worked through a whole bottle full....

sewducky said...

I toss the used ones, and not broken, into my treadle drawer. I know they're used and they're not good enough for fine work, and eventually I'll sharpen them (I have some strange vintage notion that lets me do that) and then I use them on heavy weight fabric so I can, well be cheap. If they break, or when I can't use them for anything anymore (at which point they ALSO tend to break, I toss them into an Altoid's tin. It was illegal where I was living to throw them away without disposing them as hazardous sharps (in the red box and medical waste) and so I collected them. When it gets full, I duct tape it closed and toss, now.

I also found a cheap source for needles (quality ones, 100 per package for less then $12) so I'm not AS bad, but I still throw them in my treadle.

gwensews said...

Like you, I canister them and then toss them in the trash. They shouldn't require special disposal, since they aren't contaminated.

Becky said...

Honestly? I usually just toss them straight into the trash. Though I usually try to get as much extra mileage out of them as I can first--one of my favorite techniques for making pockets (and occasionally attaching things onto the paper) for my scrapbook pages is machine-sewing on them, so unless I break them, I use them as paper needles first.

ezeldabeth said...

i wrap mine in duct tape and toss it in the garbage

Claire said...

Whenever I have to throw away something sharp, such as needles and pins, I weave the item into something else I'm throwing away so it stays put and does not end up where someone could step on it.

My mother is a diabetic, and she puts her used needles into coffee cans, then throws the can out when full.

Ivalyn "Tee" Jones-Actie said...

I have been doing the same thing. I read somewhere that this was the safest way to discard them.

sewducky said...

As to the "contaminated" thing, it was the city ordinance in the town where I was at that required any needle, for any purpose, to be disposed in that manner. When we got the city waste management notification on moving in, they had a number to call for the service and the line read "For needles of any kind from medical purposes to crafting and sewing needles to diaper pins they must be placed in a sharps container." It went on about blood and bodily fluids, and a few other things as well and to contact another waste management facility to pick them up.

While I know they're not contaminated, there's several places that are requiring it now, at least according to other friends that sew, generally in areas where trash collectors have been stuck with a needle of some sort, and they just don't differentiate between medical and other under the assumption that you could have bodily fluids on it and thus make it contaminated (which was the reasoning when I asked about it.)

Not all people responsibly dispose of them, which is frequently why stupid things come about.

SunnyQ said...

SewDucky: where do you find Sharps containers? Also, once you put the unwanted needles in the sharps container, where do you dispose of the sharps container?


Thanks for bringing this up Gwen, and Thanks SewDucky for the good ideas!

Beth Conky said...

I use an old sample baby formula glass bottle. In our county you can throw needles (at least medical needles- husbands diabetic) in the trash in a jar with lid marked on top with needles marked on it. Seems like you could do that with sewing machine needles too.

AmeliaSews said...

I'm glad you brought this up. I had never even thought about throwing them right in the trash. Now I have a use for all of those empty pill bottles I have hanging around!