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Household Pharmaceutical & Infectious Waste Disposal

The following information is for private citizens only NOT home health care agencies, commercial, or veterinary use (including syringes used for animals). These providers are required to dispose of medical waste according to the New Mexico Administrative Code.

Medication and Infectious Waste

Albuquerque Fire Rescue does not dispose of medications or infectious waste that has not originated from Albuquerque Fire Rescue stock during the course of patient care. Members of Albuquerque Fire Rescue will refrain from taking possession of medications and infectious waste from the public or private entities.

Needles in Public Spaces

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For needles and sharps found in public spaces on City property, citizens have two options:

  1. Call 311 to report it and someone will be dispatched to pick it up although response times may vary depending on who is available at the time.
  2. Use the OneABQ App on any smartphone or device and report it by selecting the "Needles" icon and filling out the information requested for the incident. The report will be emailed to the appropriate resource and someone will be dispatched to pick it up although response times may vary depending on who is available at the time.

Medication Disposal

Pill Medications and needle sharps are acceptable for disposal at the locations listed below. These can include doctor prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements, and pet medications. Remove all medications from their original containers including pills in foil and place them in a sealed bag for disposal.

Proper SHARPS Disposal by the Public using a SHARPS Drop Off Location:

Put all household generated sharps (needles, lancets, and single razor blades) into a rigid plastic container such as an empty laundry detergent or bleach bottle.

  • Do NOT use glass or coffee cans
  • Clearly label the container "Contains Sharps" with a waterproof marker.
  • Immediately put used syringes or lancets into the container.
  • Screw on the top after each use.
  • Don't clip, bend or recap the needles because you could injure yourself.
  • Keep the container away from children!
  • Add a few tablespoons of household bleach for added safety. (optional)
  • Seal it with heavy-duty tape when the container is full.
  • Take to a drop-off collection site or see trash disposal steps below.

Additional Proper SHARPS Disposal by the Public through their Trash Service:

  • Put your homemade sharps container in a box.
  • Clearly label the box as “Danger Sharps Inside.”
  • Put with regular household trash.

Unacceptable Medications for Disposal:

  1. Liquids
  2. Chemo or Medical Waste
  3. Inhalers or other personal care item
  4. Prescriptions on the Environmental Protection Agency's P or U list. If unsure about the medication, call the APD Evidence Division at (505) 823-4200.

Public SHARPS Drop Off Locations in Albuquerque

Albuquerque Police Department Area Commands: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; After Hours: (505) 242-COPS

  • APD Foothills Area Command, Jeffery Russell Memorial Substation, 12800 Lomas N.E., 87112, (505) 332-5240
  • APD Northeast Area Command, John Carrillo Memorial Substation, 8201 Osuna Rd. NE, 87109, (505) 823-4455
  • APD Southeast Area Command, Phil Chacon Memorial Substation, 800 Louisiana S.E., 87108, (505) 256-2050
  • APD Valley Area Command, Gerald Cline Memorial Substation, 5408 2nd St. NW, 87107, (505) 761-8800
  • APD Southwest Area Command, Shawn McWethy Memorial Substation, 6404 Los Volcanes Rd. NW 87120, (505) 831-4705
  • APD Northwest Area Command, Michael King and Richard Smith Memorial Substation, 10401 Cibola Loop, NW 87114, (505) 768-4850

These collection boxes are for household, human sharps only (syringes which are used for human injections), NOT for veterinary clinics , medical practices, nursing homes, tattoo shops, acupuncture clinics, non-NMDOH Harm Reduction affiliated community organizations, etc.

  • Midtown Public Health Office – 2400 Wellesley Ave NE, 87107 – (505) 841-4100
  • Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless – 1217 1st St NW, 87102 – (505) 766-5197
  • North Valley Public Health Office – 7704 2nd St. NW – (505) 897-5700
  • UNM - ASAP (Addiction and Substance Abuse Program) - 2600 Yale SE - (505) 994-7999
  • Transgender Resource Center of NM - 149 Jackson St. NE, 87108 - (505) 200-9086
  • Casa De Salud (Just Healthcare) - 1608 Isleta Blvd. NW, 87105 - (505) 907-8311
  • Highland Pharmacy - 717 Encino Pl. NE, 87102 - (505) 243-3777

Infectious Waste and SHARPS Disposal

Albuquerque Bio-Waste Disposal Companies (for Public and Private):