Home Medical Waste Disposal

The improper handling and/or disposal of home-generated medical waste can pose serious health risks to the generator and everyone in the community. Medical Waste or "sharps" are objects such as needles, syringes, lancets and other sharp objects used for medical purposes.

Since September 1, 2008, home-generated sharps waste may not be thrown in the regular trash.  Sharps waste may be taken to a free Los Angeles County HHW Collection Event,  if the guidelines below are followed:

These items should be placed in either a purchased medical sharps container (from a pharmacy or health care provider) or a heavy-plastic or metal container. The container should be puncture-proof with a tight-fitting lid, and the lid should be taped after sealed.

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 "Used Syringes" on the container with a black permanent marker.
  • 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.
  • 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 waste.

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