Sharps Disposal

Where should I dispose of my used and unused sharps?

  • The best disposal method is to use an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container with hazard labels on the outside. This container may be brought to your medical provider (if accepting used sharps) or here at the Health Department.
    • Home containers brought to the Health Department will be disposed of properly, please give a $10 suggested donation to cover the cost of disposing.
    • For more information for Medical Sharps 
    • For information on Livestock Sharps (pdf)  

What personal protection should I practice?

  • Always wash your hands after handling or touching medical sharps.
  • Keep container out of reach of children and pets.
  • Place needles and syringes directly in the container after use.
  • For added protection, the contents may be disinfected with a solution of 1 part bleach 10 parts water. After the solution sits for 20 minutes, pour the solution into a sink and secure container. Rinse the sink until the solution completely drains.
  • Secure lid tightly by being sure it clicks or adding packing tape. 

What are DOs and DON’Ts for sharps handling?

  • DO use a hard plastic container that is puncture proof.
  • DON’T use milk jugs, cartons or anything that can be easily punctured.
  • DO mark the outside of the container with "Not for Recycling-Infectious Waste".
Sharps Disposal
  • DON’T attempt to remove, bend or recap the needle.
  • DO secure and dispose of containers when full.
  • DON’T flush needles and syringes down the toilet.
  • DO screw on the lid when full and use heavy duct tape to secure.
  • DON’T use containers with tops that may come off easily.
  • DO ensure outside of container is free from contamination such as blood.
  • DON’T use clear bottles or glass products.
  • DO communicate with your garbage collector that you will be setting them out on a regular basis (if disposing with household trash).
  • DON’T mix sharps disposal containers with recycling bins.