Disposing of Needles: Protect Yourself and Protect Others
Nobody likes to get stuck with a needle. (Cómo desechar jeringas en su hogar: Lo que debe y no debe hacerse). Never throw loose needles in the garbage. Loose or protruding needles are a danger to everyone, especially trash collectors, because they can cause accidental needlestick injuries that may require, at a minimum, testing for HIV and hepatitis.
Needles and syringes from a household or other place of lodging, such as a motel or hotel, are not considered medical waste, so you can follow general practices recommended for their disposal. Please follow these easy steps before disposing of needles in your garbage:
- Place needles and syringes in a hard plastic or metal container with a tightly secured lid. (The container should be labeled “Syringes,” “Sharps,” or “Needles.”)*
- Keep the container out of the reach of children and pets.
- When the container is full, seal and reinforce its lid with heavy-duty tape.
- Dispose of the sealed container in the household trash.
*Do-It-Yourself Container: A laundry-detergent or bleach bottle will make a good needle disposal container. Don’t use see-through containers. Label the container “Syringes,” “Sharps,” or “Needles.”
- Don’t use containers made of glass or clear plastic.
- Don’t use thin plastics, such as soda bottles, as they are easily pierced. The thicker the wall, the safer the container.
- Don’t put the container in the recycling bin.
- Don’t throw loose needles or syringes in your household garbage.
- Health-care professionals who provide in-home care must take sharps back to their clinics, hospitals, or places of business to be managed as medical waste.
We appreciate your help in keeping our community safe!