Disposal Options

Once used sharps have been placed in an FDA-cleared sharps container or a strong, plastic container, like a laundry detergent or bleach bottle, seal the container and then place it in your household trash if permitted by your state or community.

Below are a few other ways to dispose of sharps:

 

Drop Box or Supervised Collection Points

Sharps users may be able to take their filled sharp container to appropriate collections sites, which may include hospitals, health clinics, pharmacies, health departments, community organizations, police and fire stations, and medical waste facilities. Services may be free or have a nominal fee. States where these programs are readily available include California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, and Wisconsin. You can see local regulations and disposal options here.

capped syringes

 

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sites

These collection sites are another way to safely and easily dispose of sharps. First, check with your local waste provider to find out if sharps are collected at their site. Then, place your used needles in an FDA-cleared sharps container, take the container to the designated waste collection site, and place them in the sharps collection bin(s). You can see your local regulations and disposal options here.

 

Mail-back Programs

FDA-cleared filled sharps containers are placed in shipping containers, which are mailed (in accordance with the U.S. Postal Service regulations) to a collection site for proper disposal. This service usually requires a fee, and fees may vary depending on the size of the container. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions included with the disposal container, as these programs may have specific requirements for mail-back. Some drug companies also offer sharps mail-back programs. Please check here for contact information.

 

In-Home Individual Disposal Products

A variety of products are available that destroy used needles and make them safe for disposal. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist for information about “needle destruction devices” or “needle melting devices” and where to purchase them in your area.