Knowledge Base

How do I properly dispose of sharps/needles safely?

There are a few different safe options to safely dispose of household sharps.  Look into utilizing a service or mail-in program.   There are many companies that offer sharps disposal services including*:

  • Colorado Medical Waste Inc. - ; (303) 794-5716
  • Waste Management -; 1-877-927-8363
  • Stericycle -; 1-866-783-7422
  • Sharps Compliance Corporation -; 1-800-772-5657
  • Medasend Mailback, Inc. -; 1-800-200-3581

    * This list is not exhaustive or complete; please check the yellow pages listing under “Waste Disposal – Medical” or Internet resources below for the most current information. The City of Thornton does not recommend or endorse any specific companies. Also refer to the CDPHE disposal information.

Another option is to participate in local sharp collection programs, restricted to residents of the county that sponsors the program. Visit for more information on collection sites.   

Lastly, household waste is an option but never include sharps with your recycling or loosely in your trash.  Purchase a commercially available sharps container from a pharmacy or other source, or use a strong plastic or metal container with a screw-on or tightly secured lid to prevent accidental contact with the waste.Containers like empty bleach bottles, liquid detergent bottles and heavy plastic jugs are strong enough to prevent the sharps from poking through the container and have lids that can be securely fastened.  A coffee can may also be used as long as the lid is sealed with strong tape once the container is full. Plastic milk containers are a poor choice because they're generally made of thin plastic that can be easily punctured by a needle or lancet.  Glass should never be used as a sharps container because the glass can break and make the hazard worse.

Updated 8/12/2020 1:04 PM
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