Agency staffing is limited due to the quickly evolving situation with COVID-19. We ask for your patience in returning emails and phone calls at this time. Certain programs and events held by the Agency and our partners are canceled. Please go to this page for the most recent updates.

Sharps/needles

It’s illegal to dispose of home-generated sharps in the garbage.

California State law (Section 118286 of the California Health and Safety Code) makes it illegal to dispose of home-generated sharps in the garbage or recycling cart. This includes hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications used in the care of people and animals. The law also requires that all sharps waste be transported to a collection center in a FDA-approved sharps container. When thrown in the garbage, sharps can injure sanitation workers.

If the plastic syringe is no longer with the needle and no longer capable of piercing the skin, it can be disposed in the garbage assuming it’s home-generated waste. Also, note that empty medication vials can be disposed in the garbage.

How to prepare:

  • For drop-off, sharps must be in FDA-approved sharps containers.
  • The only legal way to transport used sharps is in an FDA-approved sharps container.
  • The container must be labeled Sharps Waste and Biohazard.
  • Sharps waste will not be accepted in paper bags, plastic bags, or non-approved containers.
  • Don't mix sharps with any other waste, including discarded medications or other pharmaceuticals.

Related topics:

See Household Hazardous Waste Facility for Residents and related programs. Sharps/needles are accepted at all locations.
See Sharps/needles (business only)
See Commercial HHW Facility

Loading map...

Locations

Location pin California Department of Public Health

1616 Capitol Avenue, MS 7405
Sacramento, CA 95899

NotesRegulates the generation, handling, storage, treatment, and disposal of medical waste.

See list of Registered Medical Waste Transporters

Location pin Dollar Drug

1055 W. College Ave., Ste. C
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

NotesDrop-off and fee: sealed FDA-approved sharps containers; residents only, no businesses. Call first.

Dollar Icon

Location pin Healdsburg District Hospital

1375 University St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448

NotesDrop-off: sealed FDA-approved sharps containers; residents only, no businesses.

Location pin Household Hazardous Waste Facility (HHW Facility)

500 Mecham Rd
Petaluma, CA 94952

NotesMust be in an FDA-approved sharps container.

Location pin Lark Drugs Guerneville

16251 Main St.
Guerneville, CA 95446

NotesDrop-off and fee: sealed FDA-approved sharps containers; residents only, no businesses. Drop-off during pharmacy hours only.

Dollar Icon

Location pin Republic Services

NotesMail-back and fee: pre-paid return service program.

Dollar Icon

Location pin Sharps Compliance, Inc.

NotesMail-back and fee: pre-paid return service program.

Dollar Icon

Location pin Stericycle, Inc.

NotesMail-back and fee: pre-paid return service program.

Dollar Icon

Location pin Veolia North America

NotesMail-back and fee: container and pre-paid return service program.

Dollar Icon

Location pin WM - Waste Management Healthcare Solutions

NotesMail-back and fee: pre-paid return service program.

Dollar Icon