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Household Hazardous Waste

Disposal of Home-Generated Sharps (Needles, Syringes and Lancets)

Home-generated sharps waste is defined as hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, acupuncture needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate skin for the delivery of medication or conduct a blood test derived from a household. As of September 1, 2008, California State Law prohibits the disposal of home-generated sharps into any container used for the trash, recycling, or green waste.

Disposal Options for Home-Generated Sharps

  • Ask your health care provider or pharmacist if they take back used sharps.
  • Consider using a mail-back program for proper disposal (fees may apply). For a list of mail-back service companies, visit California Department of Public Health.
  • City of San Diego residents can call 858-694-7000 to make an appointment to drop off their home-generated sharps at the Household Hazardous Waste Transfer Facility. Sharps must be in either closed red sharps containers or heavy-duty, rigid plastic containers with a secure, tight-fitting lid such as bleach or detergent containers and labeled “"sharps".

    Business-Generated Sharps

    Businesses such as hospitals, medical offices, dental offices, acupuncture clinics, tattoo shops, and veterinary hospitals generating sharps waste should contact San Diego County Department of Environmental Health at 858-505-6880 for information on how to manage business-generated sharps waste.

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