Mar Vista Animal Medical Center

3850 Grand View Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066

(310)391-6741

www.marvistavet.com

NEW CALIFORNIA SHARPS DISPOSAL LAW

DO YOU USE NEEDLES OR SYRINGES FOR YOUR PET?

Many pets benefit from injectable medications at home, most notably diabetic pets receiving insulin and pets receiving fluids under the skin. Here to fore, needles and syringes could be disposed of in one's regular trash at home.

AS OF SEPTEMBER 1, 2008 IN CALIFORNIA, NEEDLES AND SYRINGES
MAY NO LONGER BE DISPOSED OF IN THE TRASH AT HOME


(origonal graphic by marvistavet.com)

The law in California precludes disposing of home-generated sharp medical waste in trash receptacles. Special disposal is now required.

So, what are you supposed to do with used needles and syringes?

First, you will need an appropriate sharps container. You can get a free medical sharps container from any of the facilities listed at the bottom of this page:

http://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/hhw/Sharps

https://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/hhw/PDF/SharpsBrochureEng2010.pdf

Or use a thick plastic bottle such as a fabric softener bottle or laundry detergent bottle. When it is 3/4 full, it should be disposed of in one of the legally sanctioned ways listed below (throwing the needle-filled hard plastic bottle in the trash is not allowed in L.A. County):

You have several choices for sharps disposal:

  • Bring them here to our hospital and we will dispose of them for you. We have special medical waste containers and contract a disposal company to remove sharp medical waste.

  • Use a "mail-back" system. This means you buy a container for your sharps and when it is full, simply use a prepaid mailing label to send it to the disposal company it came from. There are numerous sharps disposal companies to be found through the usual internet search engines.

    Containers come in assorted sizes and pricing depends on the size of the container one selects.

  • Bring your home-generated sharps to a sharps consolidation center. For a list of such centers throughout the state of California, visit

    http://ladpw.org/epd/hhw/sharps/sites.cfm or

    http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/HomeHazWaste/sharps

  • Bring them to your local pharmacy. Many pharmacies perform this service, check first to see if your local pharmacy will take care of this.

  

There is presently no criminal penalties for failure to comply with this law and presently California is the only state with such legislation. In the past, we have recommended simply using a disposable hard plastic container (such as an empty fabric softener bottle) for discarding needles and syringes as the container will protect personnel involved in refuse management but this is no longer legal. Special landfills are required for medical waste and at this time in this State, home-generated sharps now must be treated the same way as hospital-generated sharps.

 

Page last updated: 7/22/2018