Household Infectious WasteHousehold waste containing regulated infectious waste in amounts normally found in household waste may be disposed of at a permitted municipal waste landfill. Home healthcare waste (bloodied bandages, IV bags, et c.) should be double bagged and placed in your garbage.
Improper disposal of needles, lancets and other sharps can pose a health risk to the public and waste workers. For example, discarded needles may expose waste workers to potential needle stick injuries and potential infection when containers break open or needles are mistakenly sent to recycling facilities.
Options for the proper disposal of sharps in North Dakota:
- Collection programs
- You can check with your local hospital, clinic or pharmacy to see if
they have a program to take back your full sharps containers. Not all
hospitals, clinics or pharmacies in North Dakota offer this service.
- Sharps mail-back programs
- You can contact a company to enter their program.
You then place your used sharps in special containers provided by the
company and return the container by mail to them for proper disposal. This
service usually requires a fee. Fees vary, depending on the size of the
For a list of these companies, search for ‘mail back medical
waste’ on any Internet search engine such as “www.google.com”.
- Home Needle Destruction Devices
- Several manufacturers offer products that
allow you to destroy used needles at home. These devices sever, burn, or
melt the needle rendering it safe for disposal in the trash. The prices of
these devices vary according to product type and manufacturer. Check with
your pharmacist or search the internet using keywords "sharps disposal
- Trash Disposal
- The last and least preferred option is to place a filled sharps
container in the trash. Needles and syringes should be placed in heavy
plastic containers (for example, laundry detergent containers) not
2-liter soda pop bottles. You can also check with your pharmacy to see
if it sells commercial containers specially designed to hold sharps for
disposal in your household trash. The container should be labeled
"Sharps". When full the container should be taped shut and placed in
your garbage. Do not recycle the full plastic container.
- The US Food and Drug Administration has helpful information on Safe Disposal Outside Of Health Care Settings.
If you have further questions contact, by e-mail, Christine Roob or by telephone at 701.499.5207.
Division of Waste Management Home Page
Updated: 9 Jul. 2017