What to do? With those bent, broken, dull needles and pins. Over the years I have collected them in a variety of decorative containers (and some NOT so decorative!). Salt/pepper shakers work great for needles and pin with almost no heads (like the one on the left). Because I use pins with larger glass heads, it was a hassle to unscrew the top each time I had something to insert. Enter...the cheese shakers with larger holes! Almost everything will go in. For traveling: a small plastic box that pins originally came in. I carry this in my Featherweight cleaning kit and collect used needles in classes.
But now those containers are full. Always remember that these are "sharps"--just like in hospitals, etc. No one should have to take a chance of being poked. So here is how I dealt with this situation this week.
I removed the labels from some old prescription bottles (which many people use to collect sharps in and then dispose of them in the same container). And a cardboard box which I reinforced with duct tape--lots and lots of duct tape! The needles and pins were transferred to the bottles and the box (I had lots).
Then I sealed all of the bottles and the box with duct tape. I labeled each container and then put them in my recycling.
Easy peasy, everyone safe...ahhh, a sigh of relief, and I have empty containers to start collecting again! This was several years' worth. In the glass containers they are pretty with the silver and the colored pin heads. I try to keep a container wherever I sew; no excuses for stray pins and needles.
While you are blog reading, check out Becky Goldsmith's post on washing your fabrics here. She said it so well that I am not going to repeat it.
That's all I know for tonight. Please share any ways you have of disposing of used needles and pins--there might be a prize for the best suggestion!