Medical Waste Mail Back 101: Choosing the Right Kit for Your Needs

The medical waste mail back system comes with a lot of options
We often write about how convenient the medical waste mail back system is for small waste generators. But what you might not realize is just how versatile the system is. Getting the most out of a medical mail back kit comes down to selecting the right container for your needs.

Medical waste mail back kits can be used for a wide range of uses – from households with diabetics to nursing homes who produce a small amount of waste. However, these kits aren’t one size fits all. Here’s how to pick the right kit for your needs.

Nursing homes and small medical waste generators

What if you generate a little bit of everything, like a nursing home or small medical clinics? These generators have many options for mailback kits. While any non-sharps specific mail back waste container could work, we have a couple recommendations.

First, consider the amount of waste you generate. In general, we’d say err on the larger side of containers. Most medical waste can be stored indefinitely, so sending in two one-gallon containers every year is a more economical choice than sending in a 1.5 quart container every month.

If your medical waste is particularly bulky, you may want to separate out your sharps by purchasing a standard 5 quart sharps container in addition to one or two general waste containers.

It really comes down to trial and error. If you’re frequently sending in containers, start scaling up the size until you find the right container for your needs. If, however, you climb to the top of the latter and find yourself filling up more than three two-gallon containers per month, it may actually be less expensive to have your waste picked up by a medical waste disposal facility instead.


Many corporations are required to accommodate diabetic employees who need to dispose needles from insulin shots. For these purposes, we’d recommend purchasing a standard 5 quart sharps container that comes with wall mounts, which you can place in bathrooms around the office.

Home use

Similar to corporations, the most common household infectious waste item is needles from insulin injections. Therefore, we’d probably recommend the same 5 quart container that we mentioned above. However, it’s likely that you have a bit more control over your disposal containers than a corporation has with theirs. So while the 5 quart containers are certainly convenient, you may want to purchase one or two larger containers, maybe a one or two gallons in size.
As long as you can secure your container(s) in a safe place where children can’t reach, you can store your sharps waste indefinitely. That way, you only need to mail in your sharps say twice a year rather than monthly.

Chemotherapy Waste Generators

You might be surprised to find that there’s a mail back waste container designed specifically for chemotherapy waste. It’s a yellow 2-gallon container that can only be used for chemo waste.

Medical waste mail back kits are an economically smart choice for a variety of small waste generators. Select the right type of container for your needs and see how much time and money you can save by switching from a standard infectious waste pickup.

Learn how to easily track, properly handle and affordably dispose your biohazard or infectious waste.