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.
    • Pick a container that’s strong enough that needles can’t poke through the sides.
    • Pick a container that’s not breakable.
    • Don’t 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.
  • Don’t overfill the container. When it’s more than half full, stop using it. 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.
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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. Don’t put it in with your recyclables.
  • If you live in a different county of New York or another state, 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 hospital or nursing home in New York State
    • A local pharmacy
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