At the state level, sharps disposal guidance is as follows:
For the safety of our employees, the State of Virginia and the Chesapeake Waste Management Office recommends that home-generated sharps (needles and syringes) be placed in a Clorox or a detergent bottle and labeled "do not recycle."
However, more detailed guidance is given at the county and city levels. Specific guidelines for the City of Salem, Fairfax County and Prince William County is shown below.
City of Salem
Frequency of Collection
Properly packaged sharps delivered to the City's Solid Waste Transfer Station will immediately be placed on a transportation vehicle for transport to a sanitary landfill for final disposal.
Steps for Disposal
What about medical waste generated by medical care workers in your home?
Medical waste produced by health care workers (physicians, nurses, home health aides, etc.) as a result of providing medical care in the home is not home generated medical waste. It is Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) and must be disposed of by a licensed RMW disposal company. The responsibility for the proper and safe disposal of regulated medical waste rests with the health care provider providing services in the home.
Prince William County
1. You should place:
In a hard-plastic or metal container with a screw-on or tightly secured lid.
A coffee can will do if the plastic lid is reinforced and sealed with heavy duty tape.
DO NOT USE GLASS OR CLEAR PLASTIC CONTAINERS.
2. Place the container where you will be using your syringes and sharps to minimize handling. Make sure your storage location is child and animal proof.
3. Place the sharps in the container immediately after use.
DO NOT try to RECAP, REMOVE, BEND or BREAK the needles.
This is where most injuries occur.
4. When the container is nearly full add a sanitizing solution, made by adding one teaspoon of household bleach (5.25%) to one pint of water, then seal the container.
5. With a permanent marker, print “NOT RECYCLABLE TREATED SHARPS” on the outside of the container with a contrasting color. Place the sharps container in a plastic bag and seal it with tape in case leakage occurs.
6. Discard with the rest of your garbage.