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Factsheet: Management of Home-Generated Sharps for Health Care Providers

Safe Disposal of Home Sharps

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Sharps Photo

Beginning September 1, 2008, California law will prohibit the disposal of sharps waste, including needles, syringes and lancets, in the regular trash. Sharps waste poses a risk to trash collectors who may accidentally get stuck by a needle, syringe or lancet and be exposed to a disease.  Your children, pets, housekeepers, and janitors may also be at risk of a needle stick if needles are improperly stored or disposed.  

Click to watch "Drive Up, Drop Off" (Household Sharps Disposal Locations)

 Used sharps may:

  • injure people
  • spread germs
  • spread serious disease like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and tetanus

Sharps should not be:

  • thrown in the trash
  • flushed down the toilet
  • placed in recycling containers

Put Sharps Waste in its Place!

  • Ask your health care provider or pharmacist if they take back used needles, lancets, and syringes.
  • Take your used needles, lancets, and syringes to drop-off collection sites or household hazardous waste facilities.
  • Consider using a "Mail-Back" service for proper disposal.  For a list of mail-back service companies, visit California Department of Public Health (fees apply)

Residents of unincorporated communities may take their home-generated medical waste sharps in closed rigid containers no larger than 2 Liters (1/2 gallon) to approved residential sharps collection drop boxes at the following locations:

  • Alpine Sheriff Substation
    2751 Alpine Blvd.
    Alpine, CA  91901
  • Julian Sheriff Substation
    2907 Washington Street, Bldg. C
    Julian, CA  92036
  • Borrego Springs Sheriff Substation
    571A Palm Canyon Drive
    Borrego Springs, CA  92004
  • Lakeside Fire Station #3
    14008 Hwy 8 Business
    El Cajon, CA  92021
  • Campo Sheriff Substation
    378 Sheridan Rd.
    Campo, CA  92006
  • Pine Valley Substation
    28848 Old Hwy 80
    Pine Valley, CA  92062
  • Fallbrook Sheriff Substation
    388 East Alvarado Street
    Fallbrook, CA  92028
  • Valley Center Sheriff Substation
    28205 N. Lake Wohlford Rd.
    Valley Center, CA  92082
  • EDCO Station Buyback Center - La Mesa
    8184 Commerical St.
    La Mesa, CA  91942
    (619) 466-3355
  • Ramona Disposal Buyback Center
    324 Maple St.
    Ramona, CA  92065
    (760) 789-0516
  • EDCO Station Buyback Center - Lemon Grove
    6700 Federal Blvd.  
    Lemon Grove, CA  91945
    (619) 287-7555
  • EDCO Waste & Recycling Services - San Marcos
    224 S. Las Posas Rd
    San Marcos, CA  92078
    (760) 744-2700
  • Fallbrook Waste & Recycling Services
    550 West Aviation Rd.
    Fallbrook, CA  92028
    (760) 728-6114
  • Escondido Disposal Inc.
    1044 West Washington Ave.
    Escondido, CA  92025
    (760) 745-3203

Sharps Waste brochure for unincorporated area residents (English/Spanish).

For more information on home-generated sharps management in unincorporated areas, or to find out where to pick up a free sharps container, contact the County of San Diego Household Hazardous Hotline at 1-877-R-1-EARTH (877-713-2784).