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Department of Health Services

Environmental Health and Safety

Household Disposal of Needles, Syringes and Lancets


Sharps such as needles, syringes and lancets can pose a serious health risk to family, members of the public or workers who collect and sort waste.  State law regulates how to dispose of sharps in order to minimize or eliminate this health risk.  Sharps must be stored and transported in an approved sharps container.  These containers may be purchased at your local pharmacy.

There are several options for safe and legal disposal of sharps:

  • Check with your pharmacy, hospital, doctor or veterinarian to determine if they are an approved home-generated sharps collector.
  • The County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at the Central Landfill, 500 Mecham Road, Petaluma, or any of the numberous community toxics collection events scheduled throughout the county.  Check the recycling section of your telephone directory for collection event dates and times or call (707) 795-2025.
  • Contact a licensed medical waste hauler for pickup.
  • Mail-back sharps containers may be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service.  They may be purchased at some pharmacies or ordered directly from an approved mail-back service company.  A list can be found on the California Department of Public Health Home-Generated Sharps Waste webpage.
  • Several needle destruction devices are available to render sharps harmless.