Used needles, syringes, or other sharps pose a danger because they can potentially spread diseases like hepatitis or HIV. Store and dispose of them properly to prevent disease and injury.
Household sharps, sometimes called "residential sharps," are sharps for personal or household use, such as:
In Whatcom County, you can dispose of household sharps in one of three ways.
In the household garbage. Package and label sharps using the instructions below, and then place them in your household trash.
Businesses that generate used sharps must send them to an approved biomedical waste facility or treat them by one of the approved methods described in Whatcom County Code (WCC 24.06) before disposal through local waste streams.
We provide free clean-up kits for businesses and community members who want to clean up and safely dispose of used needles or syringes found on private or public property. The kits contain safety equipment and instructions about how to safely handle needles. They can be picked up from the Whatcom County Health and Community Services Communicable Disease Division at 509 Girard Street, Bellingham during normal business hours, while supplies last.
Each kit contains a sharps disposal container, puncture-resistant gloves, safety glasses, tongs, and simple instructions for safe collection. Full sharps containers can be returned to Whatcom County Health and Community Services for proper disposal.
When cleaning up needles, take the following precautions: