Never dispose of loose needles and other medical “sharps” in trash cans or recycling bins, and never flush them down the toilet.
Used or unwanted sharps should be placed in an FDA-approved disposal container, available through pharmacies, medical supply companies, health care providers and online.
If an FDA container is unavailable, use a sturdy plastic container, such as a laundry detergent jug. Write “do not recycle– sharps inside” on it, so other people in the household know it’s not for recycling.
Your medical provider can give you instructions on how to dispose the container properly, or contact your local public works department, your waste management firm, or your local recycling coordinator for guidance.
Tip: When disposing the container in household trash, seal it tightly and disguise it in a bag or wrapping, to help discourage anyone from sorting through your trash for used sharps.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides general guidance for disposing of syringes and other sharps at home, in a handy “Do’s and Don’ts” format. Find out more.