Home-Generated Sharps Waste Threatens Public Health and Safety
Improperly managed home-generated sharps waste presents significant public health, safety, and environmental problems at the end of their useful lives. Unsafe sharps disposal can impact janitorial and housekeeping workers, sanitation workers, and children or household pets, among others. A single needlestick injury can mean weeks of taking medications to prevent the spread of infection, as well as months waiting for tests for life-threatening conditions such as HIV/AIDs or Hepatitis B or C.
Safe and Convenient Sharps Disposal for Consumers
The Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Program established industry-run statewide pharmaceutical and home-generated sharps waste stewardship program(s) to require safe and convenient disposal options for pharmaceutical and home-generated sharps waste. CalRecycle expects implementation of the first statewide home-generated sharps take-back program(s) to begin in early 2022 and anticipates full implementation by late 2022.
See the Home-Generated Sharps Waste Stewardship Plan page for more information on the status of the program.
- On January 7, 2021, the Office of Administrative Law approved the Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Regulations. The regulations were effective immediately.
- Looking for information on household pharmaceutical waste? Visit the Pharmaceutical Waste Stewardship Page .
- SB 212 (Jackson, Chapter 1004, Statutes of 2018) was approved by Governor Brown on September 30, 2018.
Find a Safe Disposal Location
The California Department of Public Health lists collection locations for home-generated sharps waste. Look for the “list
of home-generated sharps consolidation points located throughout California” near the bottom of the page.
Additionally, many sharps manufacturers offer mail-back services for their products, contact them directly for disposal options.
Resources and Contact Information
- Listserv: Click here to sign up for email updates related to CalRecycle’s oversight of the Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Law. You can review previous messages by visiting the Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Listserv Archive.
- Public Notices: For public notices related to CalRecycle’s oversight of the Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Law (e.g., department decisions regarding regulations, plan approval, etc.) please visit the CalRecycle public notices page.
- CalRecycle Contact: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or more information.
- Board of Pharmacy Contact: Please contact BOPstewardship@dca.ca.gov for questions, or to submit information pursuant to sections 42031 and 42032(b)(1) of the Public Resources Code.
- California Department of Public Health Contact: Please contact MedicalWaste@cdph.ca.gov for questions.
- California Department of Toxic Substances Control: Please visit this webpage and contact PharmStewardship@dtsc.ca.gov for questions.