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Sharps Disposal

The Law

Beginning on Sept. 1, 2008, California state law made it illegal to dispose of home-generated sharps waste in the trash or recycling containers, and required that all sharps waste be transported to a collection center in a sharps container approved by the local enforcement agency.

California Health and Safety Code defines "home-generated sharps waste" as 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, including a multifamily residence or household.

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

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.

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