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Frequently Asked Questions

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Sanitation and Safety

I have a large supply of used syringes (needles). How can I safely dispose of them?

Pennsylvania's medical waste regulations do not apply to individuals.  However, Philadelphia residents are expected to safely dispose of their used syringes.

Residents should store used syringes in a hard plastic soda bottle or other sturdy container. When the container is filled, seal it tightly, wrap it in newspaper, and discard it with your household trash.

You can also ask your doctor for help. Your doctor may agree to dispose of your old syringes in an approved container for medical waste.

If you have more questions, please call the Office of Environmental Engineering at 215-685-7342.

Someone dumped a bunch of used syringes on my street. What can I do?

If you find a used syringe and want to dispose of it yourself:

  • Be careful.  Needle sticks can cause infection and transmit disease.
  • Use a pair of tongs, pliers, or tweezers to pick up the syringe. It is best to wear rubber gloves.
  • Take a hard plastic container or coffee can and place it on the ground beside the syringe.
  • Keeping away from the sharp end of the needle, carefully pick up the syringe by the barrel.
  • Needle point first, put the syringe into the container and seal it tightly.
  • Wrap the container in newspaper and discard it with your household trash.

If you have more questions, please call the Office of Environmental Engineering at 215-685-7342.

I am building a new home and city sewers are not available. What can I do?

You can request an evaluation and test to determine if your property can handle an on-lot sewage disposal system. Call the Office of Environmental Engineering at 215-685-7342 to request an application for the evaluation and testing process. The fee for this process is $500, payable by check when you submit your application to the Environmental Engineering Office.