Household Medical Waste

Where it Goes

Nova Scotians can return sharps (needles, syringes, or lancets) and unwanted or unused medications to local pharmacies for safe disposal - for free.

How it Works

Safe Sharps

Most local pharmacies participate in the province’s safe sharps program, which is administered and funded by Nova Scotia’s pharmacies, sharps manufacturers and medication distributors. Through this program, Nova Scotians can access a proper container for disposing of sharp needles in a safe manner. Once the container is full, it can be returned to the local pharmacy.

Used needles, syringes, or lancets should only be placed in a Safe Sharps container.

  • DO NOT put them in plastic bottles or jugs
  • DO NOT put them in garbage or recycling bags
  • DO NOT flush them down the toilet
  • DO NOT burn them

The Safe Sharps program does not include used sharps from medical, dental or veterinary clinics, home care professionals, intravenous drug users, or farms. To properly dispose of these types of sharps, please contact your respective professional association.

For more information, contact your local pharmacy, the Canadian Diabetes Association, a local Diabetes Centre, or Divert NS at 1-877-313-7732.



DO NOT flush or throw away your medications! Nova Scotia has a province-wide program for the safe disposal of household pharmaceutical waste. You can return unwanted or unused medications to your local pharmacy for safe disposal for free.

Nova Scotia’s medication disposal program is administrated by the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia (PANS) and paid for by pharmaceutical companies.

Still not finding what you’re looking for? Find out what programs are offered in your municipality.

Find out more about waste sorting in your neighbourhood.

Click the link below to see your local sorting guidelines.

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