Safe Disposal of Sharps

Home-Generated Sharps, Syringes, and Needles

 with a few simple steps, it's OK to throw it okay. Put on heavy duty gloves and use pliers or tongs to place the needle in a thick plastic container like a laundry detergent bottle. Screw on the lid and seal it well with strong tape, like duct tape. Write "Do Not Recycle" on the container and throw it away in the regular trash. If you are stuck with someone else's needle, wash the wound well with soap and water and seek medical attention right away. Learn more at Vermont Department of Health.
To be safe and legal, dispose of home-generated sharps, needles, and syringes in this manner:

  1. Place sharps in an empty, rigid plastic container, such as a laundry detergent bottle.
  2. Tape the bottle’s cap shut with strong tape. Firmly attach a “Do Not Recycle” label to the bottle. Please see the sample label.
  3. Dispose of bottle in the trash.

The Universal Recycling Law allows people to reuse rigid plastic bottles to dispose of their home-generated sharps.

Safe Needle Disposal in Vermont - VT Department of Health Toolkit & Website: includes a demo video, a toolkit for communities, case studies, and more.

"Safe Needle Disposal: What should I do?" Decision Tree (for residents and health care professionals)

Sample "Do Not Recycle" label to tape to disposal containers. Printing on colored paper makes the label more eye-catching. 

What To Do With A Found Needle 


Regulated Medical Waste (non-residential)

For questions about how businesses and institutions should dispose of regulated medical waste, contact Ben Gauthier at (802)522-5080 or

Please see the current procedure for instructions and requirements. Management options for treated regulated medical waste can be found in the Solid Waste Rules in Subchapter 8. 


 What to do depends on who and where you are. Click on the image to open the PDF.