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Recycle A to Z

Hypodermic Needles

What are Sharps?

Sharps include hypodermic needles, syringes or intravenous (IV) tubing with needles attached, scalpel blades, and lancets that have been removed from the original sterile package.

Why is improper disposal dangerous?

Throwing loose or containerized sharps into your trash can hurt the people who handle your garbage and others who may come into contact with them. If you use syringes for any medical condition, or if you use any other sharps, be sure to dispose of them properly. Diseases such as hepatitis B and C and HIV can result from an accidental needle stick.

How do I safely store Sharps

  • Use an approved sharps disposal container.
  • Never overfill the disposal container; no materials should be sticking out of the top.
  • Place the items into an approved sharps disposal container immediately following use.
  • Never force materials into the disposal container.
  • Keep sharps disposal container away from children.

How can I safely dispose of Sharps?

  • Return sharps to participating pharmacies. Many pharmacies that sell sharps containers also dispose of the containers and may include the disposal cost in the purchase price. Ask before buying. For a list of these pharmacies, see our Participating Pharmacies List.
  • Return sharps to your physician. Ask your physician if he/she will take used containerized sharps for disposal.
  • Take to a county solid waste collection facilities/transfer stations:
  • When transporting to a county solid waste collection facilities/transfer for disposal use an approved sharps container. If an approved container is not available, use a container with a well-secured lid, preferably a screw top. Rigid plastic containers are best — for example, plastic milk, juice, or soft drink bottles. Avoid using glass which may shatter or an aluminum can which may be crushed. If using a non-approved rigid sharps container please label it: WARNING SHARPS — DO NOT RECYCLE.


Call before transporting sharps. Not all disposal sites accept them.

Do not place loose or containerized sharps into your trash container or recycling bins.

Proper Disposal

Take sharps to one of the following solid waste collection facilities:


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