State law prohibits a person from placing home-generated sharps in their trash or recycling containers.  Home-generated sharps are defined as disposable hypodermic needles, syringes, lancets, and other medical devices used for self-injection or blood test. 

To safely dispose of your used home-generated sharps, place them in an approved biohazard container and contact your physician, clinic administrator, or pharmacist and ask if they have a take-back program in place. 

If you purchase sharps on-line, request a pre-addressed, prepaid mail-back box for your used sharps. The Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program also accepts home-generated sharps as well as many pharmacies throughout the County. SharpsContainer

Properly disposing home-generated sharps is as easy as:

  1. Purchase a sharps container from your local pharmacy.
  2. Place home-generated sharps in the container.
    Keep out of reach of children.
  3. Bring the full, sealed container to one of the listed facilities below for free disposal.

Properly disposing of your used sharps will help protect your family,
community, the public and our environment.


Sharps disposable containers can be purchased at local pharmacies. If you have further questions or need more information, please contact the Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program at 408-299-7300.

The following County Fire fire stations have drop boxes that accept approved sealed sharps containers (as pictured above):
NOTE: approved sharps container size requirement for these drop boxes are 1 or 1.5 quart size ONLY!

Receptacles that resemble mailboxes are clearly marked, and located outside the fire stations. Sharps containers deposited in the receptacle are picked up by Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program.

Other Disposal Options

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)
Place used home-generated sharps into an approved sharps container. When container is 3/4 full, permanently seal container and make an on-line appointment to dispose through HHW or call HHW Hotline Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm 408.299.7300. 

Palo Alto residents, please call your city's HHW program directly at: City of Palo Alto - 650-496-6980


  • Kaiser Permanente - Campbell Medical Offices (Kaiser Members only) - 220 E. Hacienda Avenue, Campbell 95008


Los Altos

  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation – Los Altos Center (Patients only) - 370 Distel Circle, Los Altos, CA

  • Los Altos Pharmacy – 255 2nd Street, Los Altos 650-948-1212

Los Gatos

  • Community Hospital of Los Gatos (Patients only) – 815 Pollard Road, Los Gatos

  • FMC Dialysis (Patients only) - 14651 S. Bascom Avenue, Los Gatos

  • Mission Oaks Campus of Good Samaritan – 15891 Los Gatos-Almaden Road, Los Gatos

  • Shannon Fire Station - Drop Box - 16565 Shannon Road, Los Gatos 95030
    Approved Sharps Container Size Requirement: 1 or 1.5 quart size for drop-off box

  • Summit Veterinary Hospital & Kennel - 23291 Summit Road, Los Gatos


  • West Valley Fire Station - Drop Box - 19800 Cox Avenue, Saratoga 95070
    Approved Sharps Container Size Requirement: 1 or 1.5 quart size for drop-off box

Click here for a list of sharps drop-off locations within Santa Clara County

Mail-Back Systems - By using an approved mail-back system, you can dispose of your medical waste in a safe and economical fashion. These systems allow you to safely return your medical waste in an approved container to an appropriate medical waste treatment facility. Current list of mail-back services authorized for use in California can be found here.