Safe Disposal for Needles, Syringes, and Lancets

When people take insulin shots or check their blood sugar, it's important for them to know how to dispose of their sharps, such as needles, syringes, and lancets, in a way that protects other people from getting stuck accidentally.

Disposal options are different in different regions. Here is some general information to help you dispose of your sharps safely. Call your county health department or local solid waste utility for more specific information for where you live.

Disposal in Western Washington

Pharmacy/lab return programs: Some pharmacies sell sharps containers for a small fee and will dispose of the sharps at no cost if you return them in the container they sell. You can buy one of these containers at a Group Health pharmacy and return the full container to a Group Health lab for disposal.

Drop-off sites: The City of Seattle accepts up to one gallon of labeled sharps waste at their north and south transfer stations, at no charge. Call the Hazardous Waste information line at 206-296-4692 for locations and times.

Curbside pick-up: Call your local solid waste utility for pick-up information in your area. In some areas, a company will pick up sharps waste at your home for a fee.

Disposal in Eastern and Central Washington and North Idaho

For household trash disposal:

Other disposal methods:

Mail programs

Stericycle of Washington, Inc. sells sharps containers of various sizes that can be mailed back for disposal. Call 1-800-355-8773 for information about their medical waste mail-back program.

Clinical review by Dan Kent, pharmacist and certified diabetes educator
Group Health
Reviewed 03/01/2014