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.
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".
- 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.