Collection for Disposal Program
Never put a container of sharps in with your recyclables. SHARPS ARE NOT RECYCLABLE and not only can they pose an infection risk to workers at the recycling facility, they can render the whole batch of recyclables unusable. Used needles and other sharps should never be placed loosely in your trash or flushed down the toilet.
The preferred method for the management of used needles and other sharps is to collect them in a sharps container and take them to a local collection program or send them to a commercial medical waste disposal company for disposal. There are many commercially available mail-back programs available, as well as local medical waste disposal companies that you can contract with to pick up and dispose of these wastes for you.
At this time, there are three local collection programs that accept sharps from households. One program is at the Mesa County Household Hazardous Waste facility near Grand Junction and is available to residents of Mesa County. Another program is in Larimer County and is available to residents of Larimer County. The third program is in El Paso County and is available to residents of El Paso and Teller counties. If you are a resident of one of these counties and would like more information, contact your local county government or visit their website.
Mail-back disposal systems may be available at your local pharmacy or through your health care provider. Mail-back systems generally include a sharps container, packaging materials and pre-paid shipping. Be sure to follow the instructions included with the kit. A list of mail-back programs is provided in the Household Medical Waste Compliance Bulletin.
Most commercial medical waste service providers accept properly sealed sharps containers purchased from a pharmacy or medical supplier. They do not accept other types of containers used to contain needles and other sharps.
These procedures are intended for used needles and other sharps from a household only.