Sharps Disposal

Where should I dispose of my used and unused sharps?

  • The best disposal method is to use an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container with hazard labels on the outside. This container may be brought to your medical provider (if accepting used sharps) or here at the Health Department.
    • Home containers brought to the Health Department may be processed with a fee of up to $12.00, depending upon container size.
    • FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers (medium) may be purchased at the Health Department for $20 (no disposal fee with return of full container to Health Department).
  • The Riley County Health Department does not recommend disposal of sharps with your household trash when not within an appropriate container. In the state of Kansas, sharps containers may be discarded with household trash.

What personal protection should I practice?

  • Always wash your hands after handling or touching medical sharps.
  • Keep container out of reach of children and pets.
  • Place needles and syringes directly in the container after use.
  • For added protection, the contents may be disinfected with a solution of 1 part bleach 10 parts water. After the solution sits for 20 minutes, pour the solution into a sink and secure container. Rinse the sink until the solution completely drains.

What are DOs and DON’Ts for sharps handling?

  • DO use a hard plastic container that is puncture proof.
  • Sharps Disposal
  • DON’T use milk jugs, cartons or anything that can be easily punctured.
  • DO mark the outside of the container with "Not for Recycling-Infectious Waste".
  • DON’T attempt to remove, bend or recap the needle.
  • DO secure and dispose of containers when full.
  • DON’T flush needles and syringes down the toilet.
  • DO screw on the lid when full and use heavy duct tape to secure.
  • DON’T use containers with tops that may come off easily.
  • DO ensure outside of container is free from contamination such as blood.
  • DON’T use clear bottles or glass products.
  • DO communicate with your garbage collector that you will be setting them out on a regular basis (if disposing with household trash).
  • DON’T mix sharps disposal containers with recycling bins.