Disposal of Consumer Generated Sharps Waste
On March 6, 2018, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors passed legislation requiring sharps manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies who produce and distribute medicines that require home injection to submit and implement a comprehensive plan for safe, free and convenient disposal of consumer generated sharps waste. Sharps waste includes medical devices with sharp points or edges that can cut or puncture the skin, such as needles, syringes, and lancets, that are necessary for patient care outside of traditional healthcare settings. As a result of this new law, our residents will see collection kiosks and locations to pick up free postage paid mail-back containers throughout the County beginning later in 2018.
This website will be updated as the program is implemented.
Proposed Stewardship Plans:
Safe Sharps Disposal Ordinance Information:
How to Properly Dispose of Home-Generated Sharps
Properly disposing of your used sharps will help protect your family, community, the public, your garbage hauler, and the environment. Please remember, ALL SHARPS MUST BE IN AN APPROVED SHARPS CONTAINER. DO NOT THROW THEM IN THE TRASH!
- Place home-generated, used sharps in an approved sharps container - You may purchase a biohazard sharps container at a pharmacy or ask your doctor if they offer a container. If you buy sharps online, request a mail-back kit for used sharps.
- Dispose of full sharps containers by using one of the following options:
- Ask your pharmacist or doctor's office if they have a "take back" program.
- Take to a Sharps Drop-Off Location - FREE drop-off for residents.
- Use the HHW Program. Schedule a FREE drop-off appointment by using the HHW Online Appointment system or by call the HHW hotline at (408) 299-7300.
- Use a Mail-Back Service. For more information, visit: https://safeneedledisposal.org/solutions/pharmaceutical-programs/.
Definition of Approved Sharps Container:
Container must be rigid, puncture-resistant, unbreakable, leak-resistant with a tightly sealed lid and labeled as "Sharps Waste" or showing the International Biohazard label. No: glass jars, soda bottles, or milk jugs. (These containers are not puncture proof)
State law (H&SC §118286) 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.