Disposal Safety Guide.

Patient Information on Syringe & Pen Needle Disposal.

What you need to know about hypodermic needles and syringes and how to dispose of them.

California law allows pharmacies to sell needles and syringes to adults age 18 and older without a prescription. Other states may have restrictions.

Needles and syringes need to be disposed of safely after use – they cannot be legally be thrown into the garbage.

Ask your pharmacist whether they sell “sharps containers.” Sharps containers are made of strong, puncture-proof plastic.

You cannot put a sharps container into the garbage or recycling. Sharps containers have to be taken to a location that knows how to handle them safely. Call 1-800-CLEANUP (253- 2687) and search for “syringes” to find a location near you.

What to “Do” for Disposal:

  • Use a sharps container that is made for disposing of needles.
  • Immediately put used needles and syringes into your container with the point first.
  • Keep the container closed between uses.
  • Keep containers away from children and pets.
  • Find out where to dispose of your full container(s) at 1-800-CLEANUP (253-2687) or online at https://safeneedledisposal.org.

The “Don’ts” of Disposal:

  • Don’t throw needles in the garbage, even if they are in a container. Containers can break in the garbage and needles can be a safety risk to sanitation workers.
  • Don’t flush needles down the toilet.
  • Don’t put sharps in aluminum cans, milk cartons, or any other containers that are not puncture-proof.

For California Customers:

For drug and alcohol treatment information call: 1-800-662-4357.

For HIV and hepatitis testing and treatment call 1-800-662-4357 or go to https://npin.cdc.gov/.

For more information about access to sterile syringes go to the California Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS website at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DOA/Pages/OA_prev_npss.aspx.