material recovery facility
Hazardous Waste Information
According to the EPA, Americans generate 1.6 million tons of household hazardous waste per year.
WHAT IS HAZARDOUS WASTE?
PROPERLY DISPOSING OF NEEDLES AND SHARPS
HAZARDOUS & MEDICAL WASTE PROGRAM
WHAT IS HAZARDOUS WASTE?
If you walk around your garage, kitchen, bathroom, or workshop, you’ll probably find hazardous materials or products you and your family use every day. Hazardous materials that can no longer be used become household hazardous waste (HHW). HHW includes hazardous materials such as household cleaners,
paints, paint thinners, motor oils, gasoline, and pesticides. HHW may pose a threat to human health or the environment if it is not disposed of properly. HHW poses a threat because it exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:
- Expired medicines
- Paint strippers
Catches fire easily
Is Reactive or Unstable Enough to Explode or Release Toxic Fumes
- Chlorine Bleach
Is Capable of Corroding Metal Containers (Such as Tanks, Drums and Barrels)
- Industrial Cleaning Agents
- Oven Cleaners
- Drain Cleaners
Universal Waste is a Form of Hazardous Waste but Not as Volatile
- TV’s and Computer Monitors
- Fluorescent Bulbs and Lamps
- Mercury-Containing Items: Thermostats, Switches and Relays
- Electronic Waste: Computers, Stereos, Radios, Telephones, Microwaves and Cell Phones
- Any Item Containing Metals Like Copper, Lead, Cadmium or Chromium
- Batteries (All types)
- Transformers and Ballast – PCB’s
Home-Generated Medical Waste
- Other “Sharps”
properly disposing of needles and sharps
Every year, Americans use over one billion sharp objects in their homes to administer health care. These “sharps” include lancets, needles and syringes. On September 1, 2008, California state law (Section 118286 of the California Health and Safety Code) made it illegal to disposal of sharps in the trash or recycling containers. In Nevada, it is not illegal to place needles in your trash container. However, isolating them in puncture resistant containers and dropping them off at the South Tahoe Refuse Transfer Station will reduce unnecessary exposure to our local solid waste workers and to workers at the regional landfill as well.
You can help prevent injury and protect our environment by following some simple steps when you
dispose of your home health care “sharps”. The solutions are simple and sensible. This is what we suggest.
• When purchasing needles from your local pharmacy, either:
Purchase mail-in needle storage containers, or
Purchase approved red plastic medical waste containers to store needles.
- If you cannot purchase storage containers, place and store used needles in a sturdy plastic container, such as a gallon orange juice container. Place a red bio-hazard sticker on it or mark Xs on it with a red marking pen. California law defines a sharps container as a rigid puncture-resistant container that, when sealed, is leak resistant and cannot be reopened without great difficulty.
- Do not break the needles off. They become less visible and are still an exposure risk if the container breaks
open. Recap the needles before placing them in the storage container.
- Keep containers with sharp objects out of the reach of young children.
- When your container is 3/4 full, close it securely, using either the locking lid or duct tape. Forcing needles into a full container can cause injury.
- To dispose of the container:
Use your mail away program or
Bring your containerized needles to the South Tahoe Refuse Transfer Station on Monday through
Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We will handle them separately and safely, or
If you are unable to come by the Transfer Station, place your secured container on the top of the
garbage in your can so that it can be retrieved safely by our personnel. Wait until the morning of your
pickup to put sharps containers out with your garbage.
This needle consolidation program is part of the Household Hazardous Waste Program at STR. Both California and Nevada residents of the South Lake Tahoe area can also drop off paints, oils, solvents, flammable liquids, cleaners, pesticides and other materials that can contaminate our environment. There is no charge to residents for these programs and no paperwork is involved.
hazardous & medical waste program
By Appointment Only! For appointments please call (530) 542-8368.
No Charge For:
- Hazardous Waste – Up to 20 gals per day, based on container size 5 gal or smaller containers, sealed with lids; label, if known No 55-gallon drums
- Electronic Waste – up to 6 items per day
- Residential Medical Needles- Must be containerized in a PUNCTURE RESISTANT CONTAINER with a sealed lid marked prominently with an “X” with a red marking pen.
Please do not leave waste unattended!
Wait for assistance at the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Building.
For special assistance, call (530) 542-8368