It’s important to correctly dispose of medical waste and sharps, as these and other hazardous materials can be harmful to our families and the environment. Use these helpful FAQs to ensure proper disposal.
For more information, including a list of sharps drop-off locations, visit the Marin County Medical Waste Program website.
How do I get rid of used sharps?
The safest and most recommended method to get rid of used sharps is to package your sharps in an approved sharps container, then drop it off at an approved facility. Containers can be obtained at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility or any of the drop-off locations listed in the link above. The red sharps container is puncture-resistant and, once sealed, cannot spill. This container is considered full when it has been filled to three-fourths of its capacity. At this point, the container should be permanently sealed and returned to a disposal location as soon as possible. At that time, a new container should beobtained.What happens if I just throw sharps in the garbage?
Used sharps (i.e., lancets, needles, syringes with needles, etc.) are extremely toxic and dangerous, so do not ever throw them in the trash or flush them down the toilet. Improperly disposed of, sharps may end up inside trash bags or the community sewage treatment plant, where they may puncture a trash collector’s or sewage worker’s skin – even through their clothing. Sharps may end up on the ground where they can injure anyone who comes in contact with them – even if they are wearing shoes. Always use an approved sharps container to dispose of these items correctly and safely.