How to Recycle Medical Sharps
Medical sharps are not recyclable, but the containers are often cleaned and reused. There are several national mail-back programs, collection and exchange programs available, or you can dispose of these properly though local household hazardous waste (HHW) facilities.
Frequent Medical Sharps Recycling Questions
If you have limited drop-off options locally, mail-back programs and syringe exchange programs are also viable options for responsibly disposing of your used sharps. Ask your health care provider for more information.
Several manufacturers also offer products that allow you to destroy used needles at home. These devices sever, burn or melt the needle, rendering it safe for disposal, the EPA says. If you’re interested in one of these products, ask your local pharmacist for more information.
Even if it is not against the law in your state to throw used sharps into a household trash can, doing so can pose potential health risks to waste workers, janitors or anyone who handles the garbage. The safest way to dispose of used sharps is at a designated drop-off location. Ask your health care provider about availability in your area or jump to the recycling locator to find a location now.
For this reason, you should always dispose of your sharps at a designated drop-off location, such as a doctors’ office or your local household hazardous waste facility. To avoid potential risks to waste workers in your area, do not place used sharps in your household trash can, and never put sharps in a curbside recycling bin. Ask your health care provider if they have a take-back program in place for used sharps or jump to the recycling locator to find a location now.
That said, many states do not regulate razor blades in the same way they regulate medical sharps. So, check with your local waste provider to ensure you are compliant with state and local disposal laws.