How to Store and Dispose of Your Home Medical Sharps

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

Storing Your Medical 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.
  • Clearly label the container “Home Sharps-Not for Recycling.” Keep it away from children and pets.
  • Put the sharps in the container point-first as soon as you use them.
  • Do not overfill the container. When it is more than half full, wrap 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 of Your Medical 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
    • A local pharmacy

Last Updated