California residents must take sealed containers of used sharps to a drop-off site or arrange a mail-back service. Please check this page for disposal drop-off programs in your area. If there is no program near you, contact your local health department or solid waste department.
Sharps that retract after use, or are very small, should be disposed of like all other sharps.
Most counties in California have disposal programs. Call the program to confirm if there are any container requirements, disposal fees or residency restrictions. Click here for information on pharmaceutical company takeback programs.
See disposal locations
Please note that SafeNeedleDisposal.org is not affiliated with these facilities or programs. Contact the individual facility to confirm hours of operation and requirements.
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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 a sharps containers or other containers approved by the enforcement agency.”
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.