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. In older times, it was perfectly fine to dispose of home-generated sharp medical waste in the regular trash as long as the sharps were contained safely. This is no longer the case.
AS OF SEPTEMBER 1, 2008 IN CALIFORNIA, NEEDLES AND SYRINGES
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 here:
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):
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: 10/17/2021