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View and download our Household Sharps Walk-in Disposal Guidance PDF.
The problem with household generated sharps waste
Each year, millions of Americans use needles, syringes, and lancets – also called sharps, to treat medical conditions at home. Disposing of those sharps after use can be a challenge.
If used sharps are placed loosely in household trash, flushed down the toilet or disposed of haphazardly, they pose a risk to the community. The risk may be greatest for family members including children and pets. Waste workers are also at risk of being stuck by sharps during trash pickup, during recycling, during waste water treatment or at the landfill. Exposure to used sharps increases the risk of contracting potentially life threatening diseases including HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis.
Household generated sharps disposal
Disposal of sharps generated in the home is not regulated in Colorado allowing the in-home sharps user to place them directly into the trash. Although this method is allowable, it is NOT recommended and should ONLY be used as a last option if safe disposal methods are not available.
Safe handling and packaging instructions
Use industry standard sharps containers or strong, HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) puncture resistant, leak proof containers with screw-on lids. Place used sharps into designated container immediately after use. Do not bend, break, or remove needles from syringes unless using a commercial sharps destruction device. Do not recap needles. Do not reuse needles. Examples of empty household generated containers that may be used for sharps waste include: laundry detergent jugs, bleach bottles, or other HDPE puncture resistant containers with screw on lids. The #2 symbol shown below will be stamped on the bottom of the container designating it is HDPE and acceptable for use.