Sharps can harm people, pets and wildlife when discarded improperly. Placing hypodermic needles and other sharps in the trash, for example, exposes garbage haulers and other disposal workers to potential injury, or, if contaminated, can transmit diseases.
Safe disposal of household medical sharps
Throwing sharps in the trash is illegal
You cannot dispose of syringes and other medical sharps in the garbage because it’s illegal in Oregon. The law also requires that medical sharps be disposed of in approved sharps containers, available at many local pharmacies, medical supply stores and, depending on availablility, Metro's hazardous waste facilities.
Metro’s container exchange program
Metro’s container exchange program is only for residents and households, not businesses, in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties.
Take sharps containers to one of Metro’s two hazardous waste facilities. Enroll at the facility for $5 per container, and get a new sharps container at no cost each time you bring a full one back for disposal. A hazardous waste disposal fee of $5 for up to 35 gallons also applies.
Group homes, residential care facilities and other commercial or business customers should contact a medical waste management company, their garbage hauler or Metro’s recycling hotline for sharps disposal options.
Sharps informational brochure
Some pharmacies, garbage haulers and recycling collection companies provide sharps disposal for a fee. Contact your hauler or ask Metro about safe disposal options near you.