Public Works

Sharps Waste

The City of Porterville’s Home-Generated Sharps Waste Management Ordinance, which was adopted on June 3, 2014, requires that home-generated sharps waste is disposed of properly.

Sharps Consumers

Sharps Retailers

Print this information in a convenient, tri-fold brochure format. Available in English or Español.

Sharps Consumers

What are Sharps?

Sharps are any devices, such as syringes, used to penetrate the skin for the purpose of delivering medication for people or pets.  Other sharps include injection pens, pen needles, and lancets.

Improper disposal of sharps creates serious health hazards

Illegal disposal of used sharps, such as flushing down toilets or dumping in trash bins, can allow unused medication to seep into ground water or spread disease through accidental injury.  Injured people can contract infectious diseases and may require years of testing for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, etc.  Improper disposal puts sanitation and waste-water treatment workers, children, pets, and you, at risk.

What’s the solution?

  1. If you use sharps, purchase a certified sharps disposal container.
  2. Always place used sharps into your container immediately after use.
  3. Never fill the container more than 3/4 full.
  4. Once the container is 3/4 full, seal the lid and take the container to the retailer from whom you bought the sharps.

What is a sharps retailer?

A sharps retailer is any person or business that sells sharps to the public, such as clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, pet stores, veterinarians, and farm supply stores.

What are the obligations of sharps retailers within the County of Tulare?

  • Sharps retailers are required to accept home-generated sharps waste in a sealed, certified container at no cost to the consumer.
  • Sharps retailers are required to accept from a customer the same amount of sharps waste as being sold, or previously sold, to the consumer.  The sharps retailer may require proof of purchase.
  • In addition, sharps retailers are also required to accept sharps not sold by the retailer, from customers who reside within the county of Tulare, in an amount equal to no more than a total of one 2 quart-size sharps container per week.

What is a certified sharps disposal container?

Ask your pharmacist or other sharps retailer if they carry certified sharps containers, or an all-in-one container.  All-in-one containers, such as the green UltiCare shown below, contain the newly purchased sharps, but feature a compartment in which the sharps can be safely stored after use.

Protect yourself, children, pets, sanitation workers, and the environment

  • Never put used sharps in the trash, recycling bins, or green waste containers.
  • Never flush them down the toilet.
  • Never place sharps in used soda cans, milk cartons or bottles, glass or plastic bottles, or coffee cans.
  • Never fill the certified disposal container more than 3/4 full.
  • Never place non-sharps items such as wound dressings, pills, or other medications in your sharps container.
  • Never recycle used sharps!

For more information contact our Field Service Department at (559) 782-7514 or email fs-dept@ci.Porterville.ca.us.

Sharps Retailers

Improper disposal of sharps creates serious health hazards

Illegal disposal of used sharps, such as flushing down toilets or dumping in trash bins, can allow unused medication to seep into ground water or spread disease through accidental injury.  Injured people can contract infectious diseases and may require years of testing for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, etc.  Improper disposal puts sanitation and waste-water treatment workers, children, pets, and you, at risk.

What is a sharps retailer?

A sharps retailer is any person or business that sells sharps to the public, such as clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, pet stores, veterinarians, and farm supply stores.

Retailer Obligations

  • Sharps retailers are required to accept home-generated sharps waste in a sealed, certified container at no cost to the consumer.
  • Sharps retailers are required to accept from a customer the same amount of sharps waste as being sold, or previously sold, to the consumer.  The sharps retailer may require proof of purchase.
  • In addition, sharps retailers are also required to accept sharps not sold by the retailer, from customers who reside within the county of Tulare, in an amount equal to no more than a total of one 2 quart-size sharps container per week.

Sharps Collection Requirements

Each system established by a retailer for the acceptance and collection of contained home-generated sharps waste that is enclosed in sealed, puncture resistant receptacles during the retailer's normal hours of operation, for proper disposal shall, at a minimum, include all of the following elements:

  • A convenient location within the retail establishment for the "take-back" from the consumer of contained home-generated sharps waste at no cost to that consumer.
  • Appropriate signage, prominently displayed within five (5) feet of any entrance to the retail establishment and easily visible to the consumer, indicating that the retail establishment accepts and collects contained home-generated sharps waste from consumers.
  • An appropriately secured receptacle or receptacles for the collection of contained home-generated sharps waste within the retail establishment.  The retailer shall assure that all home-generated sharps waste is properly contained in a sharps receptacle and placed in the secured drop off location.
  • Assurance that the collected home-generated sharps wastes are disposed within the time period established by applicable state law, as determined, from time to time by the Tulare County Environmental Health Service Department, acting as the Local Enforcement Agency.
  • Comply with all applicable provisions of the California Medical Waste Management Act, Health and Safety Code Sections 117600 et seq.

Local Medical Waste Transporters

Retailers are obligated to contact a certified medical waste transporter to establish a recurring sharps pick-up at their respective establishments.  The following list of certified medical waste transporters service the City of Porterville.

CVC Environmental, Inc. | Reg. No. 3797
P.O. Box 20448
Bakersfield, CA  93390
Phone: (661) 391-8310

Healthwise Services, LLC | Reg. No. 6070
4800 E. Lincoln Ave.
Fowler, CA  93625
Phone: (951) 280-0298

Sharps Solutions, LLC | Reg. No. 5997
3563 Investment Blvd., #6
Hayward, CA  94545
Phone: (877) 446-8449

Stericycle, Inc. | Reg. No. 3400
2775 East 26th Street
Vernon, CA  90023
Phone: (323) 362-3000

West Coast Bio-Tech | Reg. No. 5830
3644 S. Bagley<
Fresno, CA  93725
Phone: (559) 476-1351

WM HealthCare Solutions | Reg. No. 5688
Waste Management
4280 Bandini Blvd.
Vernon, CA  90058
Phone: (800) 364-9693

Find a complete list of Medical Waste Transporters that service California on the California Department of Public Health website.

For more information contact our Field Services Department at (559) 782-7514 or email fs-dept@ci.Porterville.ca.us.

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