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Sharps Disposal

Published on: 8/10/2015 4:25 PM

 How to Properly Dispose of Used Sharps


1. Purchase a biohazard sharps container at a pharmacy. If you buy sharps online, request a mail-back kit for used sharps.


2. Place used sharps in the biohazard sharps container.


3. Bring the full, sealed container to one of  the following:


  • Your pharmacy or doctor’s office if they have a “take back” program.

  •  A sharps drop-off location. Click here for a list of locations. These locations accept used sharps from residents for FREE.

  •  The HHW Program. To schedule your FREE drop-off appointment click here or call (408)299-7300.


4.  Use a Mail Back Service approved by the California Department of Public Health. For more information, visit:



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.)



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.



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