Disposing of Syringes, Needles and Sharps

The Problem

Sharps are syringes, lancets and other types of medical equipment that are used in the treatment of diabetes, allergies or other forms of home health care. Discarding loose sharps or syringes in the trash poses a risk to the people that collect and handle your garbage. Used sharps can pass on germs and diseases. Even a single needle stick from a contaminated sharp can transmit diseases like Hepatitis B.

The Solution

First, contact your doctor to see if they can provide you with a disposal option for your sharps. If they can’t, you should dispose of your home-generated sharps in the following way:

  1. Place used needles and other sharps in a 2 liter (#1 plastic PETE) soda bottle. Keep the bottle capped when not in use.
  2. When the bottle is full, cap it tightly and label it: WARNING: SHARPS! DO NOT RECYCLE! Call 388-2333 to request free sharps stickers.
  3. Seal the bottle cap with heavy tape (duct tape works well for this purpose)
  4. So they’ll know to be extra careful, please call your garbage hauler to let them know before you place this container in the trash.
  5. Place the filled, sealed and labelled bottle in your regular household trash.

NEVER PLACE SHARPS CONTAINERS IN YOUR RECYCLING BIN.

PETE (#1) is recommended because it has been shown to be more puncture resistant than other types of plastic bottles. Check the bottom of the bottle for the #1 PETE chasing arrow symbol.

The aforementioned rules apply to HOME GENERATED sharps only. Businesses (including doctors, home health care nurses, dentists, veterinarians, and tattoo parlors) which generate sharps or other medical wastes should contact the District office, 388-2333, for information on proper and legal management options.