Cannot be accepted:
- Illicit drugs (e.g. DEA Schedule I drugs like heroin, LSD, etc).
- Needles, syringes, and other sharps.
- Chemotherapy drugs.
- Medical tools and supplies.
- Bloody or infectious waste.
- Personal care products.
- Empty containers.
- Medication wastes generated by health care facilities, including nursing homes.
Handle with Care! Skin punctures may transmit blood-borne infections.
- Sharps Collection Programs can be found here.
- Mail-in Sharps Containers (some pharmacies and websites sell sharps containers with mail-in labels, ensuring proper treatment and disposal. There is an added cost for this service).
- Proper Trash Disposal
- Never put a container of sharps in with recyclables. Sharps are not recyclable and not only can they pose an infection risk to workers at recycling facilities, they can render whole batches of recyclables unusable.
- Used needles/sharps should never be placed loosely in the trash or flushed down the toilet.
- Use a sharps container purchased from a pharmacy or other source, or use a strong plastic container (HDPE plastic with #2 recycling symbol) with a screw-top lid. Used laundry detergent bottles work well. Never use paper or plastic milk jugs. They can puncture. Never use glass containers. They can break and make the hazard worse.
- Containers of sharps should be clearly labelled as “Sharps” or "Biohazard Waste.”
- Once filled, the container should be firmly sealed (tape the lid) to prevent spillage.
- Store the sealed sharps container away from children and pets.
- Place the sealed sharps container in the trash on the day it gets picked up or taken to a landfill.
If you’ve undergone treatment with radioactive pharmaceuticals for a disease like thyroid cancer, some wastes you produce may be contaminated with residual radiation. Certain wastes may have to be temporarily stored before placing them out with your trash. You and your caregiver should closely follow instructions provided by your doctor about waste disposal.
Most personal care products can be disposed in the trash, but some local household hazardous waste programs may accept these products along with household cleaning products. Contact your local program directly, or contact your city/county government for program contact information.
Some local household hazardous waste programs will accept thermometers and other mercury containing devices. Contact your local program directly, or contact your city/county government for program contact information.