If you find a discarded syringe

  • Never pick the syringe up with your bare hands. Use gloves and tongs or pliers.
  • Do not break the needle off the syringe.
  • Always put a syringe in a hard plastic container, either a sharps container or 20-ounce plastic soda or juice bottle with a lid.
  • Place the container on the ground--do not hold--and drop the syringe, sharp end first, in it.
  • Tape the bottle shut. Write on the outside SHARPS DO NOT RECYCLE.

Where to dispose of syringes

It's against the law to throw syringes in the garbage, even if they are in a secure plastic container. But here are some options:

NOTE: For privacy reasons, do not bring found syringes to one of the area needle exchange locations. That is a program for people who use drugs.

For households where syringes are used

Medical sharps must be put in a sharps container and can be taken to either of Metro’s two hazardous waste centers:

Enroll in the Metro program for $5 and get a free sharps container each time you return one. A $5 hazardous waste fee for up to 35 gallons is also required.

For businesses, group homes or residential care centers where syringes are used

Contact your garbage hauler, medical waste company or Metro at 503-234-3000. Sharps must be in an approved sharps container.

Metro’s Sharps Brochure

Click on the map below to find the right syringe disposal site

Find the right syringe disposal site on this interactive map