VIDEO: Syringe Pick-Up in Four Easy Steps

Follow these easy steps to safely pick up and dispose of syringes

Step 1: Pick it up

Many people use a tissue or napkin to pick up a discarded syringe. Especially if it’s just one syringe. Some people feel more comfortable wearing gloves, like gardening or kitchen gloves. Some people like to use tongs, pliers or a trash grabber. That’s a good idea for anyone who is going to pick up a lot of syringes or who is going on a community clean-up

Step 2: Drop it in

  • Use a hard plastic container, such a sharps container or 20-ounce water or juice bottle with a lid.

  • Set the container on the ground

  • Drop the syringes in, one at a time, needle point down.

Step 3: Seal it up

  • Close the container tight.
  • If you have a piece of tape you can seal the top
  • If you have a pen, you can write on the outside, “SHARPS. DO NOT RECYCLE.”

Step 4: Drop it off

It's against the law to throw syringes in the garbage, even if they are in a secure plastic container. Instead, drop the container in a nearby sharps box or take it to a Metro Household Hazardous Waste Facility:

  • The Healthy Streets bin on the west side Waterfront Esplanade, under the Burnside Bridge

  • The sharps box slot on the side of the storage container under the Steel Bridge

  • Metro Central at 6161 NW 61st Ave, Portland (Metro only accepts sharps containers)

  • Metro South at 2001 Washington St, Oregon City (Metro only accepts sharps containers)

For more disposal options, or if you have questions about medical waste disposal, contact Metro at 503-234-3000.