Stay Sharp on Medical Waste Disposal

A woman holds a sharps container

Pokes and pricks from used sharps are scarier than any Halloween movie!  Stay sharp this season and fall into the habit of always disposing of sharps and medications the right way.

“Sharps” is the term used for hypodermic needles, pen needles, lancets, and other home-use devices used to penetrate the skin for medication delivery. Medications refer to all the over the counter and prescription medications you have at your home.


When you dispose of sharps correctly it keeps our workers safe! When your sharps are properly disposed of it protects the essential workers who separate the items in your bin. If sharps are placed in your bin, it runs the risk of injuring your local waste workers. Used sharps can carry diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, and tetanus.


Both of sharps and meds are HHW (household hazardous waste) and can never be placed in your bin for disposal. Meds and sharps must be disposed of properly at any of our local HHW facilities and our partnered pharmacies and hospitals. Click here to view a full list of locations where you can drop of sharps and meds.

It is critical that sharps and medications are disposed of properly. Improper disposal of sharps is ILLEGAL. Clean and safe disposal starts with designating a container for these hazardous items.


How do I properly dispose of sharps?

  • Place used sharps in an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container immediately after use
  • When your sharps disposal container is about ¾ full, bring it to a drop-off location. Overfilling sharps containers increases the risk of accidental needle punctures. Click here to view a full list of locations where you can drop of sharps and meds.
  • DO NOT reuse sharps containers.
  • NEVER throw away loose needles and other sharps in trash cans or recycling bins, and NEVER flush them down the toilet.