Sharps disposal

Safely throw out needles, lancets, and EpiPens.

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Never throw sharps into the trash

Sharps are defined as disposable hypodermic needles, syringes, lancets, and other medical devices used for self-injection or blood test.

State law (H&SC §118286) prohibits a person from placing sharps in their trash or recycling containers.

To safely dispose of your used sharps, place them in a biohazard sharps container and contact your personal physician, clinic administrator, or pharmacist and ask if they have a take-back program in place. If you purchase sharps on-line, please remember to request a pre-addressed, prepaid mail-back box for your used sharps. ​​The Countywide Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program also accepts sharps as well as many pharmacies throughout the County.​

How to dispose of home-generated sharps

Properly disposing of your used sharps will help protect your family, community, the public, your garbage hauler, and the environment.

Please remember: 
All sharps must be in an approved sharps container. Do not throw them in the trash! 

Follow these steps to recycle sharps:

  1. Place home-generated, used sharps in an approved sharps container. Order free sharps containers— three free containers at a time.
  2. You can dispose of the sharps containers by the following methods:

Approved sharps containers

Red plastic sharps container with its lid popped open and biohazard sticker on the container's front.

Your container must be rigid, puncture-resistant, unbreakable, leak-resistant with a tightly sealed lid and labeled as "Sharps Waste" or showing the International Biohazard label.

No: glass jars, soda bottles, or milk jugs—these containers are not puncture proof.