According to state law 105 CMR 480, it is illegal to dispose of sharps, as well as unopened packages of hypodermic needles and lancets, by throwing them away in the trash.
The City of Worcester Revised Ordinances Chapter 4 Section 6 prohibits all sharp objects, including syringes, from being placed in a yellow City of Worcester trash bag or recycle bins for disposal, as it may endanger the person picking up the bag. Violating the above ordinance can result in a $25 fine.
Loose sharps can threaten the safety of public spaces. Knowing how to properly dispose of syringes and protect yourself is critical to keeping our community clean.
Handling loose sharps can be dangerous and should be approached with care and caution. Below are some important procedures to keep in mind:
If you handle used needles or gear (tourniquet, cooker, cotton, water) you are at risk for getting HIV and hepatitis C. Even small amounts of blood can carry these viruses. Learn more about lowering your risk of getting HIV and hepatitis C.
Designated Sharps Containers are the best places to dispose of sharps. They are marked with the universal biohazard warning symbol. Worcester and surrounding towns have designated containers at the following locations:
In order to be dropped off at a disposal site, needles must be placed in a sealed, rigid, puncture proof, leak proof container. No glass containers or plastic bags will be accepted.
Good examples of household containers you can reuse for needles disposal are: laundry detergent bottles, sealed coffee cans, etc. If the container lid does not screw on, please tape lid securely.
If you find a loose needle, please report it! Here's how:
Please do not place used needles in prescription drug kiosks. Used needles should ONLY go in designated needle containers marked with the universal biohazard warning symbol.
Twice per year you may make an appointment to bring your sharps to Household Hazardous Waste Day, held at the City's Residential Drop Off Center. You must seal all sharps in puncture proof containers.