Sharps Waste Stewardship

Home-Generated Sharps Waste Threatens Public Health and Safety

Disposing used medical needle into hazardous waste containerImproperly managed home-generated sharps waste presents significant public health, safety, and environmental problems at the end of their useful lives. Unsafe sharps disposal can impact janitorial and housekeeping workers, sanitation workers, and children or household pets, among others. A single needlestick injury can mean weeks of taking medications to prevent the spread of infection, as well as months waiting for tests for life-threatening conditions such as HIV/AIDs or Hepatitis B or C.

Safe and Convenient Sharps Disposal for Consumers

The Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Program established industry-run statewide pharmaceutical and home-generated sharps waste stewardship program(s) to require safe and convenient disposal options for pharmaceutical and home-generated sharps waste. CalRecycle expects implementation of the first statewide home-generated sharps take-back program(s) to begin in early 2022 and anticipates full implementation by late 2022.

See the Home-Generated Sharps Waste Stewardship Plan page for more information on the status of the program.

Find a Safe Disposal Location

The California Department of Public Health lists collection locations for home-generated sharps waste. Look for the “list of home-generated sharps consolidation points located throughout California” near the bottom of the page.

Additionally, many sharps manufacturers offer mail-back services for their products, contact them directly for disposal options.

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