Medical Sharps Disposal Information


Improper disposal of medical sharps (including needles, syringes, and lancets) can cause needle-stick injuries and spread infectious diseases. It is important to dispose of needles properly in order to avoid needle sticks at home and protect garbage and recycling workers.

How to Safely Dispose of Sharps

Place needles and other medical sharps in a closeable, puncture-resistant container, such as a red biohazard sharps container. When the container is three quarters full, seal and take the container to a collection center for proper disposal.

Where to Dispose of Sharps

The Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal provides an online database to help you find a nearby disposal center:

State Laws

In some states, it is illegal to throw away medical sharps in household garbage, recycling, and compost bins. Needles and other sharps must be placed in an approved sharps container and disposed of at an approved drop-off site. More information on sharps disposal and hazardous waste management in California can be found at the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery website.

•  General Information:
•  Find a Collection Facility:
•  A Guide to Syringe Disposal:

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