State Specifics for California

Beginning on September 1, 2008, State law (Section 118286 of the California Health and Safety Code) makes it illegal to dispose of home-generated sharps waste in the trash or recycling containers, and requires that all sharps waste be transported to a collection center in an approved sharps container. Section 117671 of the California Health and Safety Code defines "home-generated sharps waste" as hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications derived from a household, including a multifamily residence or household.

The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) is working to help develop a safe, convenient, and cost-effective infrastructure for collecting and properly disposing of home-generated sharps waste. Decreasing the number of sharps disposed in landfills will help prevent potential health risks to landfill and material recovery facility workers.