The information on this page is intended for use by consumers, including patients, family members, and home health caregivers to address disposal of used needles and other sharps used at home, at work, and when traveling. This page is not for health care facilities.
For information on sharps disposal at health care facilities or disposal of regulated medical waste by health care personnel outside of health care facilities, see Sharps Disposal Containers in Health Care Facilities.
The FDA recommends that used needles and other sharps be immediately placed in FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers. FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers are generally available through pharmacies, medical supply companies, health care providers, and online.
The FDA has evaluated the safety and effectiveness of these containers and has cleared them for use by health care professionals and the public to help reduce the risk of injury and infections from sharps.
FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers are made from rigid plastic and come marked with a line that indicates when the container should be considered full, which means it’s time to dispose of the container. Below are examples of FDA-cleared sharps containers: