People often use needles, syringes and lancets to manage their health. These medical waste items are sometimes known as sharps. Improper disposal of these items is dangerous and pollutes the environment.
What should you do with these items?
- Place them in a puncture-proof container such as a coffee can or plastic laundry detergent bottle. DO NOT RECYCLE IT
- Check to see if your municipality offers a household hazardous waste collection program that accepts sharps
- Check SafeNeedleDisposal.org for recommendations and links including mail back programs
- Contact a medical waste disposal service. A list is available at Michigan.gov (select "Medical Waste")
- As a last resort, reinforce the lid of your container with heavy duty tape, label it "Not Recyclable" and place the container in the trash. DO NOT PUT IT IN THE RECYCLE BIN
What should you do with expired medications?
- If your community offers a household hazardous waste program, non-narcotic prescriptions may be accepted
- The Oakland County Sheriff's Office offers a prescription take-back program called Operation Medicine Cabinet at multiple locations around the county. Visit OperationMedicineCabinet.com or call 248-858-5000 for information
- Rite-Aid stores sell a mail-back envelope for non-narcotic prescriptions
- Contact your local store for details
Household Hazardous Waste Programs in the county:
Several other communities have their own programs. Contact your city, village or township office for information.