Millions of people in the United States use needles every day to inject medication or for medical testing. Making sure to safely dispose of needles should be a priority for any patient.
How should I dispose of my used needles?
You can prevent injury, illness, and pollution by following some simple steps for disposing of your used needles.
- Place your used needles in a hard plastic or metal container with a tightly secured lid (such as a plastic milk jug.) Do not use a container you plan to recycle.
- Before discarding the container, reinforce the lid with heavy-duty tape.
- Mark the container as "Not Recyclable."
- Keep all needles and the container out of reach of children.
You may need to buy a special container for this service. You may also be charged a fee for disposal. For a fee, IVPCare Specialty Pharmacy offers a U.S. Postal Service-approved, pre-paid postage program.
At-home needle destruction devices
There are devices for destroying used needles at home. These devices are typically expensive, but can be found at many pharmacies. Individual states and municipalities may have their own laws and regulations on needle disposal.
Local Waste Management Department
You can contact your local waste management department or your local health department for more information about needle disposal. You can also contact the Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal at 1.800.643.1634.
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