Needles and Syringes

To dispose of syringes safely ask your physician if he or she will take back used syringes for disposal. Also ask your pharmacy if they participate in a needle return program. If neither your physician nor your pharmacy provides a collection system for you, follow these suggestions:

  • Make a large warning label that says: "Used Syringes" and "Do Not Recycle."
  • Put the label on an empty PETE #1 plastic bottle like a heavy duty laundry detergant or bleach container with a screw top lid. (Studies show this type of container to be the most puncture resistant.) Do not use commercial "sharps" containers because they will shatter under pressure exposing people to loose syringes.
  • Carefully put each of your used syringes into the bottle. Store the bottle out of reach of children.
  • When it is full, put heavy tape over the closed bottle cap and dispose of the filled bottle in your household trash. Do NOT put the container in your recycling bin!