Household Sharps Disposal

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DO NOT PUT SHARPS IN THE TRASH OR WITH RECYCLABLES!

Used and unused sharps must be placed in an acceptable sharps container and taken to a registered disposal site.  

To reduce public health risks such as accidental needle sticks, Wisconsin law requires all residents to dispose of sharps (examples: needles, syringes and lancets) properly. It is illegal to put sharps in the trash or with recyclables.  Follow proper collection of needles guidelines for both used and unused needles.  Return sharps to a registered sharps disposal site.

  

PLACE SHARPS IN A RIGID, PUNCTURE-RESISTANT CONTAINER WITH A SECURE LID OR CAP

Workers in hospitals and other healthcare facilities are not allowed to recap patients' needles.  Patients may recap their own needles at home as they are not at risk to themselves.

Various acceptable sharps containers can be purchased or found at home.  Appropriate bottles at home should be made of heavy plastic such as laundry detergent  or bleach bottles with screw tops. DO NOT USE coffee cans, plastic milk jugs, plastic bags, soda cans or soda bottles. (Do not add bleach to the container).

Clearly label the sharps container with the words "bio-hazard", "infection waste" or "sharps". It is also acceptable to label detergent or bleach bottles with the words "Do Not Recycle" so it is not accidentally included with recyclables.

You can also print this label and tape it to your collection container.

When the container is almost full, seal it and take it to a registered sharps disposal site.

 

PROPER DISPOSAL OPTIONS

Proper DisposalTake the container to a registered sharps disposal site. Access the DNR  website for locations.

Community members can now drop off used sharps in appropriate containers at no cost at the following participating Roundy’s Pharmacy Locations:

  • 2400 W Wisconsin Ave. Appleton WI 54914
  • 2700 N Ballard Rd. Appleton WI 54911
  • 511 W Calumet St. Appleton WI 54915
  • 828 Fox Point Plaza. Neenah WI 54956
  • 1940 Koeller St. Oshkosh WI 54902

Many healthcare facilities also accept sharps but are not required to register with the DNR.  Ask your healthcare provider, clinic or local hospital if you can bring sharps to their location for disposal.

Sharps mail-back programs are available online. The company may provide containers and packaging that meet U.S. postal regulations.  Charges may apply.

 

 WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF SHARPS?

Sharps can harm workers when they are thrown in the trash or recycling, brought to medication collections, or flushed down the toilet. Children and pets are also at risk for needle-stick injuries when sharps are not disposed of properly.  Anyone accidentally stuck with a needle will need expensive medical testing.  Potential diseases such as Hepatitis or HIV are a concern.  Needle-stick injuries are a preventable health risk.

Dangers

 Print Sharps Disposal Brochure here [PDF]