California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Sharps Waste Disposal

Household Sharps Waste Disposal

The following are some of the disposal options available to you for disposal of sharps waste:

  • Disposal Directory (FacIT) for Sharps and Medication. In this directory, you may locate facilities that collect sharps for disposal near to where you live or work. Collection programs include:
    • Pharmacies. Some drug stores take back their customers’ needles, especially in small quantities.
    • Hospitals. Hospitals may take back sharps from patients using regular outpatient services.
    • Local Household Hazardous Waste Programs. Call your local household hazardous waste agency and ask if they collect needles (sharps) at their collection facilities or on household hazardous waste days. You can also look for this information here:
      • Your local white pages’ government section may list your city’s or county’s household hazardous waste department.
      • Visit the Earth 911.org website or call 1-800-CLEANUP (1-800-253-2687), a service of Earth 911.
      • Visit the Local Enforcement Agency Directory on this website.
  • Local Jurisdiction Sharps Collection Programs, revised August 2011 (Adobe PDF, 242 KB). A file showing a sampling of local jurisdictions’ sharps collection programs and containing contacts, e-mail addresses, program summaries, and outreach materials. This spreadsheet could help jurisdictions that don’t currently have collection programs to set up their own sharps collection program.
  • Needle Destruction Devices. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently only lists the “Disintegrator” as a needle destruction device approved for use by self-injectors.
  • Mail-Back Service. A list of sharps waste mail-back services authorized for use in California is available from the California Department Of Public Health (CDPH) (PDF, 90 KB).
  • Sharps Containers. The California Department of Public Health Medical Waste Management Program is recommending the use of sharps containers approved by the FDA. After accessing the FDA website, type “sharps” in the search box. The container names will display alphabetically.

For More Information

Stay informed about the latest developments in CalRecycle’s efforts to promote safe disposal of sharps waste.

Last updated: February 11, 2014
Sharps Waste Disposal Program http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/HomeHazWaste/Sharps/
Medication Waste Disposal http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/HomeHazWaste/Medications/
Contact: PharmaSharps@calrecycle.ca.gov