Medical Waste

A-B  C-D  E-F  G-I  J-L  M-O  P-R  S-T  U-Z

Follow these instructions for the proper disposal of Home Generated Medical Waste. This includes things like syringes and needles with tubing attached.

Medical waste generated by medical care workers in your home is not the homeowner’s responsibility (it is categorized as Regulated Medical Waste)


Below are your options for disposing of sharps and prescription medications.

Safe Syringe Disposal Program:

  • Participating doctors, clinics, and hospitals may offer special containers that you can take home
  • Syringes, needles, and lancets can be disposed of in these containers
  • You don’t need to destroy the needle first in any way
  • Once full, return the container to the doctor, clinic, or hospital
  • You will be presented with a new empty container at this time

Disposing of used syringes, lancets, needles, etc. with your household trash:

  • Delegate an empty rigid container to use as your receptacle
  • Empty laundry detergent bottles, 2-liter soda bottles, or another similar rigid container with a screw-on cap will work
  • Ask your local pharmacy if they sell sharps containers
  • Label the container, for example, “SYRINGES – DO NOT RECYCLE”
  • Use a needle clipper to clip the needle and put the pieces in your labeled rigid container
  • Needle clippers are inexpensive and can be purchased from a pharmacy
  • It is recommended that the person who used the needle be the one to clip it
  • Seal the bottle with its original lid
  • Once full, wrap the lid of the sealed bottle with duct tape
  • Dispose of the bottle in your household garbage, do not recycle this bottle

Ask your doctor if he or she can dispose of your syringes for you once placed in an appropriate container for transport.

Disposal of unused prescription or over-the-counter drugs:

The Montclair Police Department has a Drug Drop Box for residents to properly dispose of any old or unused prescription and over-the-counter medications by dropping them off at the box which is mounted in the lobby of Police Department Headquarters, 647 Bloomfield Avenue.

Disposing of unused prescription medication with your household trash:

  • Use the original prescription bottle
  • Mark out all personal information on the bottle (i.e. using a black marker)
  • Destroy the medication:

  • For liquid medications: mix with “undesirable” substances like coffee grounds, cat litter, or dirt
  • For solid medications (pills): dilute the pills with water, then add coffee grounds, cat litter, or dirt

  • Put the prescription bottle in an opaque container with a lid or in a dark plastic bag
  • Dispose of this container by putting it in your household trash; do not recycle it

Site from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection:

Back to Top