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Sharps and Prescription Drugs Disposal

Published on: 12/3/2014 1:03 PM


DO NOT FLUSH MEDICATIONS DOWN THE TOILET.  Although this was a practice used in the past, new studies show that prescription and over-the-counter drugs are not completely removed when passing through waste water treatment plants.  Harm to marine and plant life can be caused by improper disposal.  Please bring any unused or expired prescription drugs and other over-the-counter medications to a local medication drop-off location for proper disposal.  Controlled Substances WILL be accepted at the listed drop-off locations below.


For a list of controlled substances please click here.
For a list of drop-off locations for Sunnyvale residents please click here.



Click here for Medication Drop-off Locations
If you are a business that generates medical waste please contact the Santa Clara County Medical Waste Program at 408-918-3400 or click here.


State law prohibits a person from placing home-generated sharps in their trash or recycling containers.  Home-generated sharps are defined as disposable hypodermic needles, syringes, lancets, and other medical devices used for self-injection or blood test.  To safely dispose of your used home-generated sharps, place them in a biohazard sharps container and contact your personal physician, clinic administrator, or pharmacist and ask if they have a take-back program in place.  If you purchase sharps on-line, please remember to request a pre-addressed, prepaid mail-back box for your used sharps.  The Countywide Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program also accepts home-generated sharps as well as many pharmacies throughout the County.


Click here for Sharps Drop-off Locations

Properly disposing of your used sharps will help protect your family, community, the public and environment. Please remember  ALL SHARPS MUST BE IN APPROVED SHARPS CONTAINERS.  DO NOT THROW THEM IN THE TRASH.

 Bio Hazardous Container

Definition of approved containers: 
Container must be rigid, puncture resistant,
unbreakable, leak resistant with a tightly
sealed lid and labeled "Sharps Waste" or with
the International Biohazard label. 
No glass jars, soda bottles, or milk jugs are
accepted.  (These containers are not
puncture proof.)

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