SHARPS

Types of SHARPS


  • Hypodermic needles
  • Pen needles
  • Intravenous needles
  • Lancets
  • Other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications
It is illegal by state law to dispose of sharps in your waste receptacles. California Health and Safety Code require that all sharps waste be disposed of in an approved collection container. Discarded needles may expose waste workers to potential needle stick injuries and risk of infection.

Rancho Santa Margarita residents are eligible to receive one free SHARPS container kit per month from the City to dispose of SHARPS waste. Due to the demand, The City has prepared a waitlist for residents and will send a notification to residents on the list when the kits become available. Typically it will take a few weeks to receive the kits from the vendor. At the time of pick-up, please bring a valid ID or verification of residency in the City of Rancho Santa Margarita. 

T
o be put on the wait-list and receive a SHARPS container kit, please click the following link and fill out the form: SHARPS Container Wait List Sign-Up.  


Proper Disposal Options


Please dispose of your sharps in one of the following ways:

  • Mailing used SHARPS containers. Directions are included in the kit provided by the City.

    NOTE: Residents must complete the "Waste Tracking Document - Manifest" prior to mailing in their SHARPS container kit. Once received by the treatment facility, the City will be notified, and the resident will be eligible for another SHARPS container kit. Directions and forms are included in the kit.​

  • Visit an Orange County Household Hazardous Waste location to dispose of your SHARPS. Check out the Household Hazardous Waste page for a list of locations.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT USED SHARPS CONTAINER KITS WILL NOT BE RECEIVED BY THE CITY AND WILL NEED TO BE DISPOSED OF AS DESCRIBED ABOVE. 


MEDICATION AND SHARPS DISPOSAL

Medication Disposal

Most medicines can be disposed of in the trash. However, it is important to take proper steps to prevent accidental ingestion when throwing old medicine away.

Click here to view medication drop box locations
How to monitor, secure and destroy your medications

Sharps Disposal

California law prohibits disposal of home-generated sharps waste in the trash or recycling containers, and requires that all sharps waste be disposed of safely.  You can find more information about sharps disposal at the CalRecycle website.

Sharps users have several options available to them to meet the requirements of the law:

  • Orange County’s four Household Hazardous Waste Collection Centers (HHWCCs) accept sharps for disposal. Residents should place the sharps in a heavy-duty, puncture-resistant container with a tight fitting lid. Examples of appropriate containers are empty plastic bottles such as detergent, liquid fabric softener or bleach bottles.  
  • The Environmental Protection Agency provides guidance on safe needle disposal here.
  • Some cities have programs for sharps disposal for their residents. Check with your city’s recycling coordinator for programs specific to your city.

Click here to see a list of mail-back services approved by the California Department of Public Health.