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The City does not collect medical trash, except for syringes used in a residence.

Sharps Disposal

You can bring properly packaged and labeled used syringes and lancets (also known as "sharps") to any hospital or nursing home in New York State. NY hospitals and nursing homes are required by law to act as collection centers. You should contact the hospital or nursing home first for specific drop-off days and times.

Many local pharmacies and healthcare providers who provide sharps also participate in the voluntary sharps collection program.

View a map of pharmaceutical and sharps drop-off locations.

You can also drop off sharps at a SAFE Disposal Event.

If you aren't using a sharps disposal program:

  • Place the sharps in a leak-proof, puncture-resistant container.
  • When the container is full, seal the lid securely, tape it closed, and label the container “Home Sharps - not for recycling."
  • Place the container with trash for regular trash collection.

Don't put syringes or lancets or sharps containers with recycling.

Learn more about used syringe and lancet disposal.

Other Medical Waste

Learn how to dispose of medical waste other than syringes and needles.

You can also hire a licensed carter.

Get a list of licensed and registered carting companies.


Printed materials that come with prescription medication should be referred to for specific disposal instructions.

Most prescription drugs should be mixed with an undesirable substance (such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter) and put in impermeable, non-descript containers (such as empty cans or sealable bags) before throwing them out in the trash.

COVID-19 Test Kits

Throw out COVID-19 test kits with your regular trash. These test kits are not considered medical waste.  

You can dispose of your special waste at SAFE Disposal Events (Solvents, Automotive, Flammable, Electronics). SAFE Events are held in the spring and fall.

Only residential waste from New York City is accepted. You must bring a valid ID and proof of NYC residency, such as a phone or utility bill.

Commercial waste and commercial vehicles are not allowed at SAFE Events.

Learn more about SAFE Disposal Events.

Items Accepted

  • Automotive products
    • Antifreeze
    • Car batteries
    • Gasoline
    • Motor oil
    • Transmission fluid
  • Batteries
  • Cleaning products
  • Corrosive liquids
  • Cosmetics or beauty products
    • Hair developer
    • Nail polish
  • Electronics
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Flammable liquids
  • Gas, helium, oxygen, or propane tanks
  • Ink or toner cartridges
  • Lawn and garden care products
  • Light bulbs (compact fluorescent or tubes)
  • Medical waste
    • Medication
    • Sharps (syringes, lancets)
  • ​Paint
    • Paint cans
    • Spray paint
  • Thermometers and thermostats

Items Not Accepted

  • Appliances with CFC or Freon
    • Air conditioners
    • Dehumidifiers
    • Refrigerators or freezers
  • Asbestos
  • Commercial waste
  • Cooking oil or grease
  • Tires
  • Waste generated from outside New York City

Upcoming SAFE Events

There are no SAFE Disposal Events scheduled at this time. Please check back later.

You can report improper syringe or sharp disposal.

Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for help.

You can file a complaint against a hospital or nursing home that does not accept syringes or lancets for safe disposal.

  • Agency: New York State Department of Health
  • Division: Growing Up Healthy Hotline
  • Phone Number: (800) 522-5006
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM

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