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Sharps and Medications

How to Dispose of Sharps

It is illegal to dispose of sharps (needles) in trash or recycling containers. Sharps are defined as hypodermic needles, pen needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications.

Option 1: Republic Services Pickup

For residents of Elk Grove, Republic Services will pick up sharps in an approved sharps container from a resident’s home, free of charge, by appointment only. To make an appointment, call Republic Services at (916) 635-2500.


  • Sharps must be in an approved container
  • Sharps must be completely enclosed in container.
  • Container must be labeled as “sharps container”.
  • Container must be sealed and closed. It cannot be broken, split or damaged.
  • The container must not contain any prescription drugs.

Sharps container(s) will not be picked up without an appointment.

Option 2: Mail-in kit

Request a free "mail-in sharps kit" from Republic Services.  The kit will include: a sharps container, mail-back box with an affixed (postage paid) return label, and packing tape. Your Republic driver will hand-deliver your kit on your next service day. Sharps kit requests are available by phone only. Call Republic Services at (916) 635-2500 to request your kit.

Option 3: Bring to SWCC

Bring your sharps in an approved sharps container to the Special Waste Collection Center (Sunday to Wednesday 9:00am to 4:00pm).  There is no fee to dispose.

How to Dispose of Medication/Pharmaceuticals

Don’t rush to flush!

Prescription medications and other pharmaceutical waste are threatening the quality of our drinking water. Don’t flush drugs down the toilet. Even the most advanced wastewater treatment processes cannot remove most pharmaceutical compounds from the water. Instead, properly dispose of your unused or expired prescriptions or over-the-counter medications in one of the following ways:

Over the Counter Medications

Take to SWCC

Visit our Special Waste Collection Center (SWCC) at 9255 Disposal Lane Sunday to Wednesday 9:00am to 4:00pm​

The SWCC will accept:

  • Unused or expired over the counter medications
  • Nutritional supplements and vitamins

If dropping off at our facility is inconvenient, most Pharmacies sell postage paid, mail back envelopes for proper medication disposal. Ask your pharmacy next time you pick-up your prescriptions.

Prescription Medications:

Option 1: Police Department

Visit our Police Department lobby medication disposal bin at 8400 Laguna Palms Way 95758 (Monday to Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm)

Note: Please do not drop-off needles, auto injectors and other sharps in the medication bin. These items pose a health and safety risk to our employees. Please see sharps disposal information at the top of this page.

Option 2: Take back to pharmacy

2If dropping off at our bin is inconvenient, most Pharmacies sell postage paid, mail back envelopes for proper medication disposal. Ask your pharmacy next time you pick-up your prescriptions.

How to Deliver Your Medications

  • Leave medications in their original bottles.
  • Use a black marker to mark out any personal information you wish to conceal.  Please keep the name of the medication visible so our staff can determine how to properly dispose of each item.

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