Needles and Sharps Alternative ways to recycle Illegal in Garbage & Drains Hazardous Waste Sharps can be disposed of at the Lake County Transfer Station & Recycling Center or through the HAZ-DROP program. Sharps must be placed inside an appropriate container. This can be an empty plastic detergent bottle, an empty plastic bleach bottle, or a special red-plastic sharps disposal container purchased at a pharmacy. Unacceptable sharps containers: coffee cans, plastic milk jugs, plastic bags, soda bottles. Do Not Recap To avoid injuring yourself from needle pricks, do not put needle caps back on needles. Never Throw Away Do not throw needles or sharps in the trash. They put sanitation workers, friends and family at risk of needle pricks, which can cause infection and injury. Use Only Sharps Containers for Disposal To dispose of needles and sharps, place them in sharps containers and bring them to a designated sharps disposal facility. What Is Considered a Sharp? All of the following must be disposed of as sharps waste: hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets and other devices that are used to break the skin of people and animals. Alternative Ways to Recycle Mail-Back Programs for Injectable Pharmaceuticals Mail used sharps and pens back to the manufacturer of injectable pharmaceuticals. The following manufacturers accept sharps waste generated from their products: Enbrel® (Amgen), Neulasta® (Amgen), Novo Nordisk, Orencia® (Bristol-Myers) and Simponi® (Janssen Biotech, Inc.). Stericycle® Mail Service for Home Sharps Stericycle runs a sharps container mail-back service for small quantity generators of waste. They include bar-coded waste shipping containers, prepaid and pre-addressed shipping labels and prepaid disposal and tracking. Visit Stericycle’s Mail Back Solutions page here. Republic Services Mail-Back Service Republic Services offers a mail-back service for managing home-generated medical waste. Visit republicsharps.com. MedPro Mail-Back Disposal MedPro offers various sizes of mail-back sharps disposal systems, starting with 1.2 gallon containers. All containers are mailed to recipients via USPS with a prepaid return slip and proof of destruction manifest. Visit MedPro’s sharps disposal page here. GRP Mail-Back Sharps Container GRP and Associates offer a mail-back sharps disposal service. They will mail you a sharps container, which you package and mail-back to them. Visit their page on sharps mail back here. Ways to Reduce Return Unused Sharps to a Needle Exchange Program Instead of dropping off unopened sharps at a disposal facility, consider taking them to a needle exchange program, such as MedShare. Find the nearest program. Did You Know? How Sharps Affect Sanitation Workers Disposing of sharps isn’t always convenient. At the same time, sharps in the trash and recycling pose a huge health risk to sanitation workers. If workers come across a needle hidden in trash, they can get struck and have to wait up to a year to know if they’ve contracted a blood-borne virus, such as hepatitis, tetanus, HIV/AIDS or syphilis.