What are Sharps?
Sharps are needles, including insulin pen needles, with or without syringes
What is a Sharps container?
A hard, plastic container with a closable, tight-fitting lid. It should be clearly labeled as containing hazardous material. Used to safely store used Sharps until disposal.
Will my local pharmacy take my full Sharps container?
Unless otherwise mandated, retail and mail-order pharmacies do not take back full Sharps containers for disposal. These facilities are required by state law to pay for their medical waste disposal and usually cannot take containers from the public.
Some retail pharmacies provide Sharps disposal mail-back kits, which include a Sharps container, return shipping box and prepaid mailing label. Ask your pharmacist if this service is available.
Will my doctor, local hospital or fire station take my full Sharps container?
Unless otherwise mandated, healthcare facilities and fire stations typically cannot take full Sharps containers for disposal. These facilities are typically required by state medical waste laws to pay for their own medical waste disposal and usually do not have the resources to take containers from the public.
Do Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facilities and collection events accept Sharps for safe disposal?
Some areas have HHW facilities and collection events that accept home-generated medical Sharps. Check with your city or county solid waste department to find out if these facilities or collection events are available in your area and inquire if they accept Sharps.