Hypodermic Needles or "Sharps"

needle Hypodermic needles are often referred to as "sharps". They are generated in laboratories which use hypodermics, syringes, blades or knives during various research procedures. Hypodermic needles might also be used by individuals who need them to inject medications for medical conditions such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis.


Sharps can cause serious puncture wounds to workers who handle the trash. They can also potentially expose individuals to viruses when skin is punctured by sharp objects contaminated with infected blood or body fluids.

Disposal at UVM

red_sharps_container Needles and sharps of any kind should be collected in an approved rigid, leak proof, puncture-resistant container that can be secured to prevent spilling of contents.  The Environmental Safety department sells a one-quart, 1/2 gallon and two-gallon size sharps containers for needle collection.  Call ES at 656-5400 to order a collection container.   Students can obtain a free sharps disposal box through the Student Health/Medical Clinic. Call the Clinic at 656-3350, or visit UHC at 425 Pearl Street and talk with a health care provider for details.

Final Destination

Sharps containers are locked in the closed position and placed into Biowaste boxes for safe disposal. A contracted vendor, Stericycle, Inc., provides incineration and disposal services for this and similar biomedical waste materials from UVM facilities.

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