Safe Home Needle Disposal
California State law Section 118286 of the California Health and Safety Code makes it illegal to dispose of sharps waste in the trash or recycling bins, and requires that all sharps waste be transported to a collection center in an approved sharps container. This includes:
- Hypodermic needles
- Pen needles, intravenous needles
- Other devices that are used to penetrate the skin, for the delivery of medications
REMOVE BATTERIES FIRST: Please remove all batteries from your injection, monitoring, or sensor devices prior to disposing of them in a public sharps receptacle. Failure to do so may lead to an explosion downstream during the handling, transportation, or disposal chain.
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Where to Dispose of Sharps
State law requires all syringes and sharps to be in authorized sharps (or puncture proof) containers up to one gallon in size.
Many pharmaceutical companies offer mail-back programs, and some companies provide sharps containers to patients who use medications that require sharps. Find out if you are eligible for a mail-back or container program.
See below for a map and list of sharps disposal locations in San Mateo County.
395 Hickey Blvd
Mike Nevin Health Center
380 90th Street
Half Moon Bay
Coastside Fire Protection District Headquarters
1191 Main Street
(Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and must be a resident of Half Moon Bay)
Recology of the Coast
1046 Palmetto Ave
(Sharps accepted Tuesdays & Thursdays 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Saturdays 8:00 am – 1:00 pm)
Fair Oaks Health Center
2710 Middlefield Road
(Bin Outside, Behind Health Center)
1150 Veterans Blvd
170 Alameda de las Pulgas
801 Traeger Avenue
901 El Camino Real
Shoreway Environmental Center
333 Shoreway Road
(Bin outside at Public Recycling Center, sharps accepted Monday-Saturday, 8:30am – 4:00pm)
San Mateo County Household Hazardous Waste Facility
32 Tower Road
San Mateo Medical Center
222 West 39th Avenue
(Two bins: Outside lobby & outside west entrance)
South San Francisco
Blue Line Transfer Station
500 East Jamie Court
1200 El Camino Real
If you have unwanted or expired medicine to safely dispose of, please visit smchealth.org/rxdisposal for a list of over 50 drop-off locations.