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How to Store and Dispose Your Home Medical Sharps

This resource will teach you how to store and dispose your home medical sharps safely. Medical sharps include items such as needles, syringes, and lancets.

Storing Your Sharps

  • Use an empty plastic container with a screw-on cap, such as a laundry detergent bottle.
    • It should be strong enough that needles cannot poke through the sides and it should not be breakable.
    • Do not store your sharps in glass bottles, soda bottles, milk jugs, aluminum cans, coffee cans, or paper or plastic bags.
    • Put the sharps in the container point-first.
  • Clearly label the container “Home Sharps.” Keep it away from children and pets.
  • Do not overfill the container. When it is more than half full, reinforce the cap with strong tape to create a more secure seal and prevent leakage.
  • Keep the container separate from trash that will be recycled.

Disposing Your Sharps

  • If you live in New York City, you can place the sealed container in with your regular trash for collection. Do not put it in with your recyclables. If you live in a different county, check with your local department of health for instructions.
  • You can also bring the sealed container to:
    • Your nurse at your next clinic visit
    • Any nonfederal hospital in New York State