Disposing of Sharps Containers

If using a clipper, once you have clipped the needle from the pen device or syringe, you can dispose the remaining device in the household trash. Manage the sharps clipper like all other sharps containers.
There are a number of ways to safely dispose of the sharps containers. When the sharps disposal container is about three-quarters full, follow your community waste guidelines for disposing of the container. These guidelines vary depending on where you live. Local trash collection departments or health departments may have information about sharps disposal programs. In general they include:

  • Drop boxes: Collection sites are located at doctors’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies, health clinics,  police or fire stations, and medical waste facilities that offer this service.
  • Hazardous waste sites: Public collection sites for hazardous materials (e.g., paints, cleaners  and motor oil) may also accept sharps containers.
  • Residential pickup programs: Some communities have pickup services for waste that includes  sharps containers.
  • Mail-back programs: Many sharps manufacturers also manufacture sharps containers approved  to be sent through the mail by the U.S. Postal Service. The label on the container should have  information on how to mail certain FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers to a collection site for  proper disposal.
  • At-home needle destruction devices: Many manufacturers sell devices that will sever, burn,  or melt the needle, rendering it safe for disposal. For more information, check with your pharmacist  or health care provider.

Learn how to safely use sharps at home, at work, and at travel.