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Did You Know?Did You Know?

Disposal of Medicines and Sharps

Disposal of Medicines and Sharps

As of September 1, 2008, it became illegal in California to discard used sharps in the garbage or recycling, and used sharps must be transported in an approved sharps container.

Medicines and sharps (hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, or anything else used to deliver medicine through the skin), should not be thrown in the trash or flushed down the toilet. Medicines flushed down the toilet cannot be detoxified by sewage treatment plants - they go right into the bay. Syringes or pen needles in the garbage or recycling can prick sanitary workers, and these workers might get sick.

Waste medicines and sharps can be dropped off at many locations throughout Santa Cruz County, although some sites take only medicines or only sharps. For a current list of drop-off sites in the County, see

View similarly tagged entries:

consumer, health, Santa Cruz County



  • Sharp Solutions for Home Medicines
    Describes how to go about safely and legally disposing of medicine and sharps (needles, syringes, lancets, and anything else used to deliver medicine through the skin). Lists disposal sites throughout the county, as well as providing a Spanish language version of the information.

Last updated by strickere on Feb. 27, 2009


While the Library has verified the information presented in these files in what it considers to be reliable and authoritative sources, it cannot take responsibility for nor guarantee the accuracy of the information presented.