Disposal of Unused Medicines & Syringes
Beaver County follows the state of Utah guidelines for the disposal of sharps/needles. One method allows patients to place used needles/pen needles, lancets (sharps) in a household container such as a laundry detergent bottle, bleach bottle or other opaque sturdy plastic container with a screw‐top lid. When that container is full, place it in your regular garbage – not recycling. Label the container “Do Not Recycle: Household Sharps” in large letters as this alerts the sanitation worker. The container must stand alone.
Some communities offer collection sites that accept used needles:
- Community organizations
- Doctors' Offices
- Health clinics
- Health departments
- Local hospitals
- Medical waste facilities
- Police and fire departments
More Information About Sharps
You can find more information at the following websites:
- Pharma Quotes
- Safe Needle Disposal Website
Use a mail‐in company with the U.S. Postal Service's and Food and Drug Administration's approval. An Internet search for mail-in medical waste will provide a list of many companies that offer this service.
Check the bulb of your thermometer and observe the color. If the bulb is silver, your thermometer likely contains mercury, unless it is clearly labeled "mercury free." Thermometers with colored bulbs and electronic thermometers do not contain mercury. Dispose of mercury‐free thermometers with other garbage and household waste. Wear gloves to handle any broken glass or plastic.
Exchange Your Thermometer
Many local agencies offer collection/exchange programs for thermometers, manometers, and thermostats containing mercury. Contact your local hazardous waste collection agency to inquire about specific disposal procedures for mercury‐containing thermometers. You may be instructed to transport or ship the thermometer to a mercury‐recycling facility, or your community may offer free collection. You can find more information at Mercury Release and Spills.
Inhaler Pharmaceuticals Disposal
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises reviewing the label on your inhaler first. Older inhalers may contain chlorofluorocarbons (an environmental pollutant), while newer ones are more environmentally friendly.
Call your local trash and waste department to ask how to dispose of inhalers properly if you can't find the label. The FDA notes that you may be asked to recycle, throw away or take inhaler pharmaceuticals to a hazardous waste facility, depending on where you live and what type of inhaler you have.
How to Throw Away the Inhaler
Follow the disposal procedure recommended for your town and your type of inhaler. If you're throwing the inhaler in a trash bin, wrap it in a plastic bag along with food scraps or coffee grounds to discourage children from picking it out of the trash.
You can find more information at How to Dispose of Un-used Medicine.
Cancer Medication Disposal
You should never throw leftover chemotherapy in the trash or flush it down the toilet. Normally, you will not have extra oral chemotherapy because it is prescribed in the exact dosage and amount you need. However, if you do, return it to your doctor or nurse for disposal. Also, ask a member of your health care team ahead of time if the empty containers or any other chemotherapy waste needs to be returned to the doctor’s office or treatment center for safe disposal.
If you have additional questions about disposing of unused or expired medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist how to proceed. You can also call the FDA at 888-463-6332.