Syringe & Sharps Disposal

You must dispose of used, old, or expired sharps and syringes safely.

Find local safe sharps collection sites and helpful resources at

They must be disposed of separately from other old medications. Follow these instructions, provided by the NJ Health Department, to safely dispose of your syringes with your household waste (not recycling):

  • Make sure you have a rigid container to dispose your syringes in, such as a laundry detergent bottle or a 2-liter soda bottle. Make sure the container has a screw on cap. Some pharmacies sell commercial containers for sharp disposal in household trash. Check with your pharmacy.
  • After use, clip the needle with a needle clipper. Using anything other than a clipper to break a needle is not safe. In cases where this cannot be done due to the limitations of the individual, and a care giver or volunteer must perform this activity, contact the individual’s physician first. Carefully place each clipped syringe and needles in the container.
  • Secure a rigid container with a screw-on cap, such as an empty laundry detergent bottle, bleach bottle, or 2-liter soda bottle. The rigid container should be sturdy to protect people from needle sticks and not break open on its way to the landfill.
  • Once the container is full, seal tightly with its original lid and wrap duct tape over the lid.
  • Place a large label with a warning on the empty container. Example: Syringes - do not recycle.
  • Dispose of the tightly sealed, full container of sharps at a local safe needle disposal site; if no site is available, dispose of the container with your household garbage - not in your recycling bin.

More Information

Questions? Call the New Jersey Public Health and Food Protection Program at 609-826-4935.