Sharps Disposal

Disposal Tips for Sharps, Needles and Syringes

Preventing Injury, Illness & Pollution

Home health care wastes primarily consist of used items know as sharps, which include needles, syringes, lancets, and other sharp objects, as well as soiled bandages, disposable sheets, and medical gloves.

Four Simple Steps

You can help prevent injury, illness, and pollution by following some simple steps when disposing of these wastes in your household trash.

  1. Place all sharps in a puncture-resistant, hard plastic or metal container. An empty detergent bottle with a screw-on cap or an empty coffee can will do.
  2. Close the container with its original lid and secure with heavy duty tape.
  3. Place the tightly sealed container in a paper bag and discard it with your household trash. Do not place it with your recyclables.
  4. Place non-sharp home health care wastes in a doubled, securely fastened, opaque plastic trash bag before putting them in your garbage can with other wastes.

Disinfect Before Throwing Away Sharps

Prior to disposal, disinfect your sharps with a solution of one teaspoon of bleach in half-gallon of water.

Other Disposal Options

  • Ask your doctor if they will accept your properly containerized sharps for safe disposal.
  • Contact your local hospital see if it will accept sharps that have been properly secured in a container.
  • Check with your pharmacy. Some sell specially designed containers for use by homeowners in securing health care wastes for disposal in household trash.

For More Information

If you have any questions or would like more details, please review this Disposal Tips brochure (PDF) or contact us.