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Sharps

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sharpsSince September 2008, State law has made it illegal to dispose of home-generated sharps waste in the trash and requires that all sharps waste be transported to a collection center in an approved sharps container.
Home-generated sharps waste includes hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications derived from a household or multifamily residence.

Sharps Disposal

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

Yolo County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Drop-off Days

During HHW drop-off events, home generated sharps in approved sharps collection containers are accepted for free and safe disposal. Place sharps waste in a red sharps container or a rigid plastic container, such as bleach or detergent bottles.  The lid of the container should be tightly closed and taped shut with “Sharps Waste” written on the outside of the container.

Drop-Off at Davis Waste Removal

Davis Waste Removal accepts sharps waste for free drop-off at their CRV redemption center during buyback hours, Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  Sharps are only accepted during the CRV redemption hours and may not be dropped off after hours. Place sharps waste in a red sharps container or a rigid plastic container, such as bleach or detergent bottles.  The lid of the container should be tightly closed and taped shut with “Sharps Waste” written on the outside of the container.  Davis Waste Removal employees will receive the sealed sharps container and place it in their sharps kiosk for proper disposal. 

Other Options:

  • 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).
  • Hospital Take Back: Some hospitals might take back needles (sharps) from those patients who go to the hospital for regular outpatient services.
  • Medical Waste Disposal Directory: This directory enables you to locate facilities that collect sharps for disposal near to where you live or work.

Sharps Disposal Containers

Home generated sharps must be placed in an approved red sharps container. The sharps container is puncture-resistant and, once sealed, cannot spill. This container is considered full when it has been filled to three quarters of its capacity. At this point, the container should be permanently sealed and returned to a disposal location as soon as possible (see the list above for sharps disposal options). At that time a new container should be obtained.  Sharps containers may be purchased at most pharmacies and drug stores. Residents can also use a metal or a rigid plastic container, that has a tight fitting lid--such as a coffee can or detergent bottles.  The lid of the container should be tightly closed and taped shut with “Sharps Waste” written on the outside of the container. 

Helpful Links

California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) sharps webpage
CalRecycle sharps brochure