Water Quality District - Hazardous Waste
What Makes it Hazardous?
Used medical syringes, or "sharps", have been in contact with blood, and can transmit blood-borne disease if they puncture the skin of another person. For this reason, they require special disposal precautions.
Medical offices, clinics and hospitals have to arrange for special disposal of their medical wastes.
BFI allows individuals who use syringes or other sharps for self-administering medications or blood tests to dispose of their sharps with regular trash; however, certain procedures are required to protect collection and landfill personnel:
- Collect sharps in clear plastic milk jug.
- When full, add a small amount of chlorine bleach (1/4 - 1/2 cup).
- Cap tightly and wrap cap with duct tape.
- Gently shake contents to ensure that all sharps have contacted the bleach.
- Use a permanent marker to clearly write: "Sharps -- Sterilized" on both sides of container.
- Place at the top of the trash so that it is clearly visible.
- Do not use a red medical waste container -- these are used only for clinics and hospitals that have special disposal arrangements.
The Residential Disposal Guide is provided by the Missoula Valley Water Quality District as a public service and is not an endorsement of specific businesses, services or products. Any omissions or inaccuracies are unintentional. Please contact us with corrections or additions. Call businesses or agencies to confirm hours, locations and charges for services, if any. For information on disposal of items not listed, email or call the Water Quality District at 406-258-4890, M - F, 8 am to 5 pm.
Much of the information provided is from the Washington County, MN, Dept. of Public Health and Environment website.
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