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Sharps Disposal

People use needles, syringes and lancets, also called sharps, to treat all sorts of medical conditions at home, including diabetes, allergies, cancer and others. Sharps may also be associated with illegal drug use. Safely disposing of sharps protects residents, sanitation workers and the environment, but more and more frequently they are found improperly disposed of.

What Can I Do If I Find a Needle or Syringe?

You can report large amounts of discarded sharps by calling 311, or for small amounts dispose of as outlined here. With a few household items, you can dispose of these needles and help keep our community safe

What Equipment Do I Need?

  • Gloves - leather utility or vinyl
  • Grabbers, tongs, pliers or tweezers
  • Sharps container or other rigid plastic container
  • Tape
  • Waterproof marker

How Do I Safely Dispose of a Needle or Syringe?

  • Put on gloves and place sharps container on a stable surface near the needle.
  • Pick up the needle with grabbers/tongs/pliers or tweezers, keeping the needle tip pointed away from you.
  • Put the needle into a sharps container, bleach or laundry detergent container or plastic peanut butter jar.
  • Tightly seal the container using tape to secure the top. Do not fill the container more than 2/3 full.
  • Label container “Sharps - Do Not Recycle” with a waterproof marker.
  • Keep container away from children and place in regular household trash cart.
  • Wash hands with soap and water.

Remember

  • NEVER handle needles with bare hands - assume they are contaminated.
  • NEVER attempt to snap, remove or bend needles, or put the cap back on.
  • NEVER place sharps in a glass or light plastic container or a milk carton that could break or allow needles to poke through.
  • NEVER allow children to handle needles.

 

Download the sharps disposal information here.