Home Medical Waste Disposal

Medical Waste Disposal of items such as sharps and syringes isn’t simple, especially for patients at home. You can’t simply toss them in the trash or recycling bin, even if they’re inside a plastic bottle. That would endanger your municipality’s waste handlers and pose potential hazards to children, pets, and others.

Home Medical Waste Disposal Steps:

Sharps (e.g. needles), bandages, prescriptions and other medical waste in small quantities from your home, may be disposed by including it with your residential trash. It is necessary to your safety, and to others in your household, and to those handling the trash that these items be securely contained before discarding. Both ecomaine and the law require the following medical waste disposal steps.


You must choose a rigid, leak-proof, puncture-resistant container, such as a hard, plastic bottle with a screw-on or tightly secured lid (a liquid detergent bottle with a large opening is a good choice, or you may purchase a disposable container at a pharmacy). Then, store the container near where the sharps are generated, but out of the reach of children. To dispose of the container, label it using masking tape or duct tape and write on it, “Do NOT Recycle.” Screw the lid on tightly and secure it with tape to prevent accidental opening. Then, it can be included with your regular household trash.


Don’t use glass, milk jugs, milk cartons, or clear plastic containers (they may break, be punctured or taken for illicit use).

Don’t put sharp objects in a container that will be recycled or returned to a store.

By correctly disposing of syringes and lancets in our sharps containers, you’re helping protect your family and your community from potential needlestick injuries.


Residential prescription drug disposal may be done in free mailer envelopes sponsored by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, which are available at participating Maine pharmacies; click here for more information and a list of pharmacies. As an alternative, residents of municipalities using ecomaine for trash disposal may discard medications and prescription drugs in their household trash because our waste-to-energy plant destroys trash at 2,000 degrees (F). As a precaution, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency recommends first mixing prescription drugs with kitty litter or coffee grounds to prevent removal and misuse.


Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet or drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so.


Soiled bandages, disposable sheets, and medical gloves should be placed in securely fastened plastic bags before you put them in with your other household trash.


Proper storage and disposal of medical waste will protect members of your household and the general public from accidental injury, as well as prevent environmental pollution.



When you need professional medical waste handling, call 866-331-7731 or click here for free quote! Let us pick up your medical waste affordably, conveniently, and responsibly. 


Maine Medical Waste Disposal
Toll Free: 866-331-7731
Maine Local: 207-839-9111


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