Disposal of Sharps by Health Care Facilities
The information on this page is intended for use by consumers, including patients, family members, and home health caregivers to address disposal of used needles and other sharps used at home, at work, and when traveling. This page is NOT for health care facilities.
For information on sharps disposal at health care facilities or disposal of regulated medical waste by health care personnel outside of health care facilities, follow the Joint Commission requirements for the deployment of sharps containers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard on bloodborne pathogens.
The links below are quick-guides, labels, and posters that use imagery to teach people how to properly dispose of sharps.
Printable Visual Learning Guides
- Be Smart with Sharps Pamphlet (PDF - 986KB)
- Safe Sharps Disposal Label (For Garbage Container) (PDF - 926KB)
- Safe Sharps Disposal Label (For Recycling Container) (PDF - 460KB)
- Safe Sharps Disposal Medication Insert (PDF - 2.2MB)
- Sharps Container Poster (PDF - 2.7MB)
The FDA collaborated with Kwikpoint under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to develop free, publically available visual learning guides to help educate people on how to safely dispose of sharps and other needles. The guides are designed to remove literacy and language barriers by conveying directions for proper disposal through images, graphics, and minimal texts. The guides improve understanding, promote greater recall, and deliver universal sharps disposal information.