Household needles and sharps

Note: 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. 
  1. Purchase a commercially available sharps container from a pharmacy or other source, or use a strong plastic or metal container with a screw-on or tightly secured lid to prevent accidental contact with the waste.
  • Containers like empty bleach bottles, liquid detergent bottles and heavy plastic jugs are strong enough to prevent the sharps from poking through the container and have lids that can be securely fastened.  
  • A coffee can may also be used as long as the lid is sealed with strong tape once the container is full. 
  • Plastic milk containers are a poor choice because they're generally made of thin plastic that can be easily punctured by a needle or lancet.  
  • Glass should never be used as a sharps container because the glass can break and make the hazard worse.
  1. Label the container as “Used Sharps” if your household is not using a commercially-available container.
  2. Once filled, the container should be firmly sealed to prevent accidental tampering.
  3. Store the sealed sharps container away from children and pets. 
  4. Place the sealed sharps container in your trash on the day it gets picked up or taken to the landfill.