PREVENTING INJURY AND POLLUTION
Containers with Sharps are not recyclable
Home care may generate some items that are classified as medical waste. "These items are defined as sharps waste" such as hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used in penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications.
All Sharps waste is to be transported to a collection center in an approved sharps container. Syringes without sharps (needles) attached can be disposed of in your home waste container.
The Medical Waste Management Act requires home-generated sharps to be placed in approved containers for transport and disposal. Home-generated sharps should not be disposed of in bleach bottles, soda containers, etc. Instead, you should store the sharps waste in red bio-hazardous containers for easy identification.
What goes into the Sharps Disposal container?
If you are a home self-injector, or if you use needles to add medications to IV bags that you are infusing, you only need to worry about proper disposal of your sharps such as needles and lancets in your Sharps Disposal container.
Only needles or lancets should be placed in your Sharps Disposal container. This includes needles that are permanently attached to your syringe (e.g. insulin syringes or prefilled syringes with needle permanently attached) or needles that are permanently attached to the Administration set (e.g. subcutaneous administration sets).
For the disposal of syringes without needles (e.g. prefilled saline and heparin syringes) after use, remove the plunger from the barrel and dispose of the syringe with your household trash.
No other items need to be disposed of in your Sharps Disposal container, including used gloves, used dressings, or used administration sets in which a needle is not permanently attached.
For more information Regarding Sharps disposal in your area visit these websites:
HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION CENTERS
ORANGE COUNTY AREAS:
- Irvine Regional HHW Center
6411 Oak Canyon
Irvine, CA 92618
- Anaheim Regional HHW Center
1071 N. Blue Gum Street
Anaheim, CA 92806
- San Juan Capistrano Regional HHW Center
32250 La Pata Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
- Huntington Beach Regional HHW Center
17121 Nichols Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
THE FOLLOWING REGULATIONS APPLY TO ALL LOADS ARRIVING AT HHWCCS:
*A maximum of 15 gallons or 125 pounds may be transported per vehicle, per trip per Department of Transportation Requirements. IT IS ILLEGAL TO EXCEED THESE LIMITS.
- Containers larger than 5 gallons will not be accepted.
- Containers will NOT be returned, except for oil containers, upon request.
- Materials should be in original containers (except motor oils, fuel and antifreeze).
- All containers must have lids, be sturdy, non-leaking, labeled and protected from breakage.
- Sharps must be disposed of in the approved Sharps containers.
- Do not combine different types of waste
- Do not mix oil-base paint with latex paint.
*Empty containers with lids removed can be discarded in the trash.
DISPOSAL TIPS FOR HOME HEALTH CARE
You can prevent injury, illness, and pollution by following some simple steps when you dispose of the sharp objects and contaminated materials you use in administering health care in your home.
You should place:
- Syringes with needles
- Blood contaminated syringes and other objects in an approved Sharps container
Along with the new state law that was passed September 1st, 2008, that requires for all Sharps to be disposed of in the approved Sharps container only, they have also implemented Sharps Return Kit programs. (see below for mail in program)
Mail In Program:
You can purchase specially designed Sharps containers that come with a prepaid-postage shipping container.
Select pharmacies (such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens) are offering free Sharps containers. The first container is free and then the 2nd and 3rd will cost five dollars a piece.