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Home Generated Medical Waste Disposal (SHARPS)


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The improper handling and/or disposal of home generated medical sharps can pose serious health risks to the generator, solid waste collection and landfill personnel, and everyone in the community. It is unlawful to dispose of home generated medical sharps in a refuse container in Scottsdale unless they are contained as described in the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) guidelines outlined below.

To find out how to properly dispose of prescription medications, please visit that page on our website.
The Waste Programs Division of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has developed guidelines to help minimize the health risks associated with the handling and disposal of home generated medical sharps (i.e. those sharps which have been used) as follows:

Objects such as needles, syringes, lancets and other sharp objects used for medical purposes should be placed in either a purchased medical sharps container (from a pharmacy or health care provide) or a heavy-plastic or metal container. The container should be puncture-proof with a tight-fitting lid.

Household containers, such as heavy-plastic detergent bottles may be used if the following precautions are observed:

  • Use heavy-duty tape, such as electrical or duct tape, to secure the lid to the container.
  • Write the words "Not Recyclable" on the container with a black indelible marker. This helps to ensure the container is not inadvertently mingled in with recyclable materials.
  • Do not use a clear container.
  • Do not over-stuff the container with medical sharps (fill it only about 3/4 full). This can increase pressure on the lid and cause a release of the medical sharps.

Once you have followed the these precautions, the container may be placed in your black refuse container for disposal. While waiting for a full container, keep it out of the reach of children and pets. Always wash your hands after handling or touching medical sharps.

Thank you for helping preserve the quality of life in Arizona by following the recommended guidelines for disposal of home generated medical sharps.

For additional information contact the Solid Waste Section of ADEQ at (602) 771-4673 or the City of Scottsdale Solid Waste Management Division at 480-312-5600.