Sharps Waste

Sharps waste refers to used hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, syringes, lancets, and other devices that penetrate the skin. Previously, there was no restriction on how to dispose of sharps.

In response to the increasing usage trends (increased cases of diabetes, growing aged population) and health risks posed to children, workers, and the general public, it is now illegal to place home-generated sharps waste in solid waste collection containers, including recycling and green waste containers (SB 1305 revision of a section of the State's Medical Waste Management Act).

Disposal Steps

  1. Place used sharps in containers to be used for storing and transporting. Containers should be rigid, puncture resistant, have a lid, and labeled as "Sharps".
  2. Take labeled sharps container to a local Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Facility or Medical Waste Disposal Center (facility that collects specific medical waste for disposal).
  3. You may also setup to receive mail-back service. For a list of approved mail-back services, visit California Department of Public Health (fees apply).