Safe Needle Disposal
Every year, Americans use over one billion sharp objects in their homes to administer health care. These “sharps” include lancets, needles and syringes. If they are not disposed of in puncture-resistant containers, they can cause injury and also create environmental problems.
When purchasing needles from your local pharmacy, either:
- Purchase mail-in needle storage containers, or
- Purchase approved red plastic medical waste containers to store needles
- If you cannot purchase storage containers, place and store used needles in an empty plastic container. Mark the container with a red marking pen. A sharps container should be a rigid puncture-resistant container, such as an orange juice jug, that, when sealed, is leak resistant and cannot be reopened without great
difficulty. Use duct tape to seal the container.
- Do not break the needles off. They become less visible and are still an exposure risk if the container breaks
open. Replace the cap before placing them in the storage container.
- Make sure that you keep containers with sharp objects out of the reach of young children.
- When your container is 3/4 full, close it using either the locking lid or duct tape the lid on securely. Forcing needles into a full container can cause injury.
To dispose of the container:
- Use your mail away program or
- Put container on top of your trash in your garbage can.
Thank you in advance for your attention to the safe disposal of sharps. It is not illegal for residents
to place needles in their trash containers. However, your cooperation will reduce unnecessary exposure to our local solid waste workers and to workers at the regional landfill as well.