Guide for Reuse, Repair, Recycling, and Safe Disposal
for Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and the City of Palo Alto

Needles & Syringes

A needle and syringe is a common delivery system for injectable medicines and other drugs, such as used diabetic test lancets and used or unused needles which are collectively called sharps.

Household Hazardous Waste

This item should never be put in a curbside bin. For more information visit our household hazardous waste page.

It is illegal for needles and other sharps to be placed into trash or recycling containers. People hand sort at the start of the recycling process; keep them safe by not placing used needles in plastic containers and putting them in your recycling bin.

Sharps, syringes, needles, auto injectors, prefilled syringes with needle, and lancets should be in a sealed FDA cleared Sharps container. Sharps containers are available in most drug stores and from mail order & internet ecommerce sources. Kiosks in pharmacies, Hospitals and Police Departments can accept Sharps containers up to 1 gallon in size. HHW Facilities accept larger sharps containers.

Sharps containers are available in most drug stores and from mail order & internet e-commerce sources.

Free Mail-back containers mailed directly to your home are available by calling 1-844-633-7765 or visiting, choose "Mail Back" to fill out an on-line order form. Novo Nordisk also has a free Mail-back container service for their customers: 1-877-438-0564.


Vendor Address City Destination Disposal Method Notes
Needle Exchange Emergency Distribution (Hearst St) Hearst Street @ San Pablo Ave Berkeley Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Walgreens 1301 Franklin St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
CalRecycle's Where to Recycle Location Finder 1001 I St
PO Box 4025
Sacramento Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center 7501 Schmidt Ln. El Cerrito Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Must be in a thick plastic container with a screw top lid.; Bin always locked seek staff for assistance (office and/or yard). Only for RecycleMore residents.
Walgreens 498 Castro St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Walgreens 2550 Ocean Ave. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off

Curbside Service

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