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 dispose of home-generated sharps at the following collection drop box locations. Sharps must be in either a:

Photo of Red Sharps ContainersPhoto of Detergent Containers

Closed red sharps container less than 1 gallon (4 quarts) or heavy-duty, rigid plastic containers less than 1 gallon (4 quarts) or with measurements less than 14 inches in height, 8-inches wide, and 8 inches in diameter with a secure, tight-fitting lid such as bleach or laundry detergent. containers.

Sharps drop boxes are located inside the main lobby of these police substation locations below.

NOTE: Police station hours are subject to change without prior notice. Please call ahead to confirm police station is open. Business-generated sharps waste will not be accepted at these locations.    

Eastern Division 9225 Aero Drive
San Diego, CA 92123
858-495-7900
Northern Division 4275 Eastgate Mall
San Diego, CA 92037
858-552-1700
Mid-City Division 4310 Landis Street
San Diego, CA 92105
619-516-3000

Southern Division

1120 27th Street
San Diego, CA 92154
619-424-0400

Western Division

5215 Gaines Street
San Diego, CA 92114
619-692-4800

Northeastern Division

13396 Salmon River Road
San Diego, CA 92129
858-538-8000

Northwestern Division

12592 El Camino Real
San Diego, CA 92130
858-523-7000

Southeastern Division

7222 Skyline Drive
San Diego, CA 92114
619-527-3500

City of San Diego residents can also 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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