The State of Indiana does not currently have rules for the
proper disposal of sharps used in the home. Each county is
different in their recommendations. Contact your local officials
for more information on sharps disposal. There are some national
recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and
the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The following are some
suggested safe disposal options:
- Locate Drop-Off Collection Sites in Your Community- These could
include hospitals, doctor's offices, police and fire stations,
- Household Hazardous Waste Collection Site- These are sites that
dispose of household cleaners, motor oil, and paint. They may also
accept sharps containers.
- Residential Special Waste Pickup Services- Special sharps
containers can be picked up by Special Waste Pickup Services. You
may have to call for each pick-up.
- Mail Back Programs- Putting sharps in approved containers to go
in the mail may be an option in your area. You can mail them to a
collection site for disposal.
- Syringe Exchange Programs- These programs can be offered by
community organizations. They exchange used sharps for new ones,
and dispose of the old ones for you.
- Home Needle Destruction Devices- These can clip, melt, or burn
the needle. The plunger can then be thrown away in the regular
If none of the above services are available in your area, you
can use a heavy-duty plastic container with a small sealable lid to
dispose of your needles. Be sure the needles are not able to poke
through the bottle. Do not use a coffee can because it can be
penetrated by the needles. When the container is full, tape the lid
on it and write "WARNING: SYRINGES - DO NOT RECYCLE" on the bottle
and place it in your trash. Keep the bottle out of the reach of
children and pets while it is still in use.