Medication, Needles and Other Medical Waste

Unwanted medication drop-off

medications
Please do not flush drugs down the toilet or put them in the garbage. Instead, take unwanted, expired or unused medications to a safe, secure drop-box. Residents can turn in prescription and all over-the-counter medications, vitamins, pet medications, medicated ointments, drug samples and liquid medications. Contact locations for hours and acceptable items:

 
 

Medical syringes, lancets and needles (sharps)

Storing and disposing of sharps properly limits risk to workers collecting and sorting garbage or recycling. Do not put sharps in the garbage or recycling. Used sharps can be disposed of at a household hazardous waste facility, collection event, local pharmacy or by joining a pharmacy exchange program. Sharps must be contained in an approved, rigid, leakproof container that is clearly labeled — available from a pharmacy, exchange program or collection site.

Collection and disposal options

sharps-container_Sml

Approved sharps containers are rigid, leakproof, puncture-resistant, sealed and clearly marked with the bio-hazard symbol. Containers, such as plastic milk jugs and coffee cans, are not safe for sharps storage. Select an approved method to dispose of sharps from the choices below:

  • Join a pharmacy container exchange program — Many area pharmacies offer sharps disposal and container exchange programs that provide containers (picture to the right). Bi-Mart and Fred Meyer stores offer a program for a small fee.
  • Drop off at a Metro collection facility — Metro's Sharps Disposal and Container Exchange Program allows area residents to bring used sharps stored in approved sharps containers to Metro's hazardous waste facilities. Participants can dispose of used sharps and receive a new container at minimal to no charge.
  • Drop off at a Metro hazardous waste neighborhood collection event — Residents can bring used sharps and other household hazardous waste to nearby Metro household hazardous waste collection event for safe collection. 
  • Subscribe to other collection service — In Washington County, sharps and other medical waste may be collected through your local hauler or by a sub-contractor. 
  • Mail them in — Some haulers and other vendors may offer sharps-by-mail service — a safe, confidential, "from home" mailing solution for sharps disposal. Check with your hauler for options.
Residential care facilities, group homes and other commercial generators of sharps should contact their regular solid waste collection company or call the Metro Recycling Information at 503-234-3000 for more information.
 

Used sharps container drop-off locations in Washington County

To find a facility nearest you that accepted used sharps for safe disposal, enter your address in the What to Recycle and Where lookup tool. Contact the facility for hours of operation and disposal or program fees. 

Other resources

Contact us to order "Used Sharps" brochures to hand out to customers, patients or residents.