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Beginning on September 1, 2008, State law (Section 118286 of the California Health and Safety Code) makes it illegal to dispose of sharps waste in the trash or recycling containers, and requires that all sharps waste be transported to a collection center in an approved sharps container.
Section 117671 of the California Health and Safety Code defines "home-generated sharps waste" as hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications derived from a household, including a multifamily residence or household.
Sharps Waste Disposal
The following are some of the disposal options available to you for disposal of sharps waste:
- Pharmacies. Some drug store chains take back their customers' needles, although large quantities might not be accepted.
- Mail-Back Service. A list of sharps waste mail-back services authorized for use in California is available from the California Department Of Public Health (CDPH). http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/medicalwaste/Pages/MailBackSharps.aspx
- Local Household Hazardous Waste Program. Call your local household hazardous waste agency and ask if they collect needles (sharps) at their collection facilities or on household hazardous waste days. Some do, others do not. There are four places you can look for this information:
- Look in the Government section of your local white pages for a household hazardous waste listing for your city or county.
- Call 1-800-CLEANUP (1-800-253-2687), a service of Earth 911.
- Visit the Earth 911.org website.
- See the Local Enforcement Agency Directory on this website.
- Hospital Take Back. Hospitals might take back needles (sharps) from those patients who go to the hospital for regular outpatient services.
For a list of upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Events go to: http://ladpw.org/general/enotify/Calendar_Template/Calendar.aspx
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event Schedule
Distribution of LA County Sharps Containers
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