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Medical Waste

All medical wastes require special handling at Yakima County Landfills. Be sure to tell the scale/gate person that you have medical waste for disposal.

Pharmaceuticals Disposal
  • Do not flush medicines down the toilet or drain. Flushing drugs add to pollution in our waters because wastewater and septic systems are not designed to treat these chemicals.
  • If available, use community drug take-back programs for proper disposal. Until collection programs for unwanted medicine are available statewide, mix your liquid medicines with an undesirable substance, such as cat litter or used coffee grounds, or grind pills or capsules and put this into a container with a lid, conceal or remove personal information and place the sealed container in the trash. Make sure your trash cannot be accessed by children, pets, or others who might be looking in garbage for drugs. Trash disposal is not secure - especially for controlled substances, like pain killers, which are often abused.

Home Sharps Disposal
  • What are sharps?
    • Sharps include hypodermic needles, syringes or intravenous (IV) tubing with needles attached, scalpel blades, and lancets that have been removed from the original sterile package.
  • Why is improper disposal dangerous?
    • Throwing loose or containerized sharps into your trash can hurt the people who handle your garbage and others who may come into contact with them. If you use syringes for any medical condition, or if you use any other sharps, be sure to dispose of them properly. Diseases such as Hepatitis B and C and HIV can result from an accidental needle stick.
  • Transporting & Disposal of Sharps
    • Use an approved sharps container. If an approved container is not available, use a container with a well-secured lid, preferably a screw top. Rigid plastic containers are best (for example, plastic milk, juice, or soft drink bottles). Avoid using glass which may shatter or an aluminum can which may be crushed. If using a non-approved rigid sharps container, such as an empty 2-liter bottle, please label it “Warning Sharps - Do Not Recycle.” Never overfill a sharps disposal container; no materials should be sticking out of the top.
    • Do not place loose or containerized sharps into your trash container or recycling bins. (Medical waste is not supposed to be mixed with regular waste.)
  • How can sharps be safely thrown away?
    • Take them to Terrace Heights Landfill or Cheyne Landfill. Tell the gate/scale person that you have sharps to dispose of.

Medical Waste From Clinics & Other Medical Facilities
In Yakima County, medical/infectious wastes, including cytotoxic materials, are double or triple bagged (preferably in red bags) and transported to the landfill by a commercial hauler licensed to handle medical waste. At the landfill, they are covered with at least 1 foot of fill on a daily basis, if not immediately. Red bags are used so landfill personnel can identify the medical wastes and deal with them in a safe and timely manner.

Alternatively, the clinic or business can haul their own medical waste to the landfill. Be sure to follow all Utilities and Transportation Commission and Department of Transportation rules while transporting the medical waste.

Do not mix medical wastes with other solid wastes!

Transporting & Disposal of Sharps
Use an approved sharps container. Never overfill a sharps disposal container; no materials should be sticking out of the top. Do not place loose or containerized sharps into your trash container or recycling bins. (Medical waste is not supposed to be mixed with regular waste.)

Take the sharps to Terrace Heights Landfill or Cheyne Landfill. Tell the gate/scale person that you have sharps to dispose of. Alternatively, you can contract with a licensed medical waste transporter to dispose of them. Be sure to comply with Department of Transportation, the Utilities and Transportation Commission, and all other applicable regulations.
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Contact Us

  1. Yakima Health District

  2. 1210 Ahtanum Ridge Drive

  3. Yakima, WA 98903

  4. (509) 575-4040

    Monday, Wednesday-Friday: 8:30am-4:30pm

    Tuesday: 9:30am-4:30pm


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