Safe Disposal of Sharps

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sharps disposalHow to Store and Dispose of Medical Sharps (needles, syringes or lancets)

Medical sharps are used in many homes to administer medications, such as allergy shots and insulin and to monitor physical states such as blood sugar levels. By law, sharps are banned from the trash. Never put medical sharps, such as pen, intravenous or hypodermic needles, syringes and lancets in the trash or recycling container.

To properly store medical sharps prior to disposal:

Place in a rigid, hard plastic or metal container with a screw-on or tight-fitting lid, such as a plastic laundry detergent container or coffee can. The container should be puncture-resistant and leak proof. Milk containers are not puncture resistant. Once the container is full, close the lid tightly and seal it with duct tape. Mark the container very clearly "SHARPS."

Containers specifically made for sharps storage can be purchased at pharmacies or medical supply stores. Some Goodwill Stores distribute sharps containers for free; call ahead to confirm availability. 

To Properly Dispose of Medical Sharps

Medical sharps are a hazardous waste that cannot be disposed with regular trash. Take to a hazardous waste drop off event or permanent hazardous waste facility.

L.A. County Sheriff's Department has drop-off locations for medical sharps and all drugs and medicines.

Never put sharps in your trash or recycling containers.

For more information, please contact the City of Torrance Public Works Department at 310-781-6900.

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