Home-generated or found sharps, needles, and syringes pose health and safety threats to the public and cannot be placed in the trash without being properly disposed of in a safe manner. The Universal Recycling Law allows people to reuse rigid plastic bottles to dispose of their home-generated sharps. Follow the steps below for safe disposal.
Discarding syringes and other sharps:
What if I find a sharp?
- Wear heavy-duty gloves.
- Use a tool like tongs or pliers to pick up the sharp.
- DO NOT disconnect the needle from the syringe.
- DO NOT handle sharps with bare hands.
- DO NOT throw sharps into the trash or the toilet.
- Teach children to tell an adult if they see needles.
How should I get rid of sharps?
Choose a Container
- Use a heavy-duty laundry detergent or bleach container with a screw top.
- DO NOT use soda or water bottles.
- Carefully put used sharps in the container with the needle end down.
- Label the container with the warning: DO NOT RECYCLE!
- DO NOT fill the container full.
Seal & Dispose
- When the container is ready for disposal, screw the cap on tightly and cover the top with strong tape, like duct tape.
- Dispose of the container with household trash.
- DO NOT put this container in recycling.
- Stop what you are doing.
- Let the wound bleed.
- Wash with soap and running water.
- Apply antiseptic and/or bandage.
- Note the time of the injury, the needle's location and what it looked like. Was it dirty?
You may need a blood test or vaccine. Go to an emergency room or urgent care center right away.