Follow these easy steps to safely pick up and dispose of syringes
Step 1: Pick it up
Many people use a tissue or napkin to pick up a discarded syringe. Especially if it’s just one syringe. Some people feel more comfortable wearing gloves, like gardening or kitchen gloves. Some people like to use tongs, pliers or a trash grabber. That’s a good idea for anyone who is going to pick up a lot of syringes or who is going on a community clean-up
Step 2: Drop it in
Use a hard plastic container, such a sharps container or 20-ounce water or juice bottle with a lid.
Set the container on the ground
Drop the syringes in, one at a time, needle point down.
Step 3: Seal it up
- Close the container tight.
- If you have a piece of tape you can seal the top
- If you have a pen, you can write on the outside, “SHARPS. DO NOT RECYCLE.”
Step 4: Drop it off
It's against the law to throw syringes in the garbage, even if they are in a secure plastic container. Instead, drop the container in a nearby sharps box or take it to a Metro Household Hazardous Waste Facility:
The Healthy Streets bin on the west side Waterfront Esplanade, under the Burnside Bridge
The sharps box slot on the side of the storage container under the Steel Bridge
Metro Central at 6161 NW 61st Ave, Portland (Metro only accepts sharps containers)
Metro South at 2001 Washington St, Oregon City (Metro only accepts sharps containers)
For more disposal options, or if you have questions about medical waste disposal, contact Metro at 503-234-3000.