Sharps Disposal

If you take injections...your trash may be looking too sharp!Sharpie the sharp

This web page contains used sharps home disposal guidelines to help protect your family, waste handlers and the environment. "Sharps" are needles, syringes with attached needles, and disposable lancets. Although it is legal to place household needles and sharps containers into residential trash, this is not the safest option for our community. Inside a trash can or bag, the loose or containerized sharps can injure family members and waste collectors or inappropriately fall into the hands of children or people with substance abuse problems. Once in the garbage truck, sharps containers are likely to break open from the pressure of the trash compactors. Many workers run the risk of sharps contact from trash on sorting floors, in recycling lines and in landfill operations. The best solution to reducing risks from sharps is to take them to sharps collection centers!


Sharps "Pointers"

  • "Sharps" include syringes with attached needles and disposable lancets.
  • One out of every 20 people have diabetes and use an average of 2 sharps daily.
  • There are over 5,000 insulin-requiring residents in Washtenaw County.
  • Over 7 Million sharps are used in homes and discarded annually in Washtenaw County.
  • Improperly discarded sharps can injure family members, waste and recycling workers, or end up in places where they are a danger to the public, such as beaches.
  • Sharps are a hazard because they can be contaminated with Hepatitis, HIV (which may lead to AIDS), tetanus and other harmful diseases.

Sharps Disposal Guidelines

  • Step 1:  Purchase a sharps container from a pharmacy when you buy new sharps. Sharps containers cost a few dollars and hold anywhere from 30 to 300 used sharps, depending on the container size you select. These containers are puncture-resistant with a special opening to accept sharps.
  • Step 2:  Perform your routine blood tests and injections and place the used sharps into the sharps container. Seal, then tape the container shut when it is full.
  • Step 3:  Take the filled sharps container to a location on the list below, such as participating pharmacies, clinics, or the Home Toxics Collection Center. Give the filled, sealed sharps container to the pharmacist or staffperson. Please do not leave the sharps case unattended. Sharps collected through these programs will be properly disposed in compliance with all medical waste regulations.


Sharps Disposal Do's

Sharps Disposal Don'ts

Do store sharps containers in areas that are child and animal proof.

Don't place loose sharps into the trash.

Do label sharps containers, "SHARPS, Dispose of Properly".

Don't break, bend, clip, recap or reuse needles.

Do secure the top of a full sharps container and seal with sturdy tape.

Don't place sharps in aluminum cans, coffee cans, glass jars or clear plastic containers. These containers break too easily.

Do return full sharps containers to participating pharmacies for proper disposal.

Don't place sharps containers in recycling bins.

Do handle sharps used away from home in a responsible manner as well.

Don't flush sharps down the toilet.


Sharps Disposal Sites in Washtenaw County

The following locations are participating with the Michigan Medical Waste Regulatory Program to accept contained used residential sharps. Please note that some of the sharps collection centers may request a nominal fee to help cover the costs of proper disposal.

ChelseaCare Pharmacy/St. Joseph Mercy - Chelsea
775 S. Main St.
Chelsea, MI 48118
Map and Directions
(734) 475-3996

Chelsea Pharmacy
1125 S. Main St.
Chelsea, MI 48118
Map and Directions
(734) 475-1188

Clark Professional Pharmacy [must be pharmacy customer]
3280 Washtenaw Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI  48104  
Map and Directions

Dexter Pharmacy
2820 Baker Rd.
Dexter, MI 48150
Map and Directions
(734) 426-1600

Home Toxics Collection Center
705 N. Zeeb Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Map and Directions
(734) 222-3950

Jensen's Community Pharmacy - Saline
968 E. Michigan Ave.
Saline, MI 48176
Map and Directions
(734) 429-9053

Pharmacy Solutions, Inc.
5204 Jackson Rd. Suite C
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Map and Directions
(734) 821-8000

St. Joseph Mercy Pharmacy - Reichert
5333 McAuley Dr.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Map and Directions
(734) 712-2222 

Village Pharmacy II
325 N. Maple Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Map and Directions
(734) 668-9600

For More Information:

Washtenaw County Logo
Dan Moody
Solid Waste Coordinator
Washtenaw County Environmental Health Division
(734) 222-3827

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