Free Sharps Collection Services offered at Van Buren/Cass District Health Department’s Lawrence and Dowagiac locations.

Van Buren and Cass County residents can now dispose of used hypodermic needles, syringes, and lancets, more commonly referred to as “sharps” at the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department offices located at 260 South Street Lawrence, MI 49064 and 302 South Front Street, Dowagiac MI 49047.  

These collection sites intend to provide residents a convenient and safe place for free, proper disposal of their sharps.


Proof of residency is required.

What can you bring?

Residents of Van Buren and Cass Counties must bring their sharps in a TIGHTLY SEALED, PUNCTURE-PROOF container.

Only the following containers will be accepted:

·        A medical sharps container,

·        Heavy-duty plastic laundry detergent jug with a tight-fitting lid

·        Metal or hard plastic coffee can with a secure lid.

All lids should be tight and secure, and taped with duct or sealing tape for extra protection.

Residents bringing their sharps in something other than those listed as accepted will be refused.


** At this time, only 2 Sharp containers, per household, will be accepted.


DO NOT BRING Sharps mixed with other materials.

DO NOT BRING Individual or loose sharps, milk jugs, plastic juice containers, plastic bags or cardboard boxes. These items WILL NOT be accepted.

DO NOT BRING Pills, liquids, and other medications in sharps containers. These items WILL NOT be accepted.


Click here for our Red Med Box page for information about how and where to dispose of unused and unwanted medications.




The Van Buren/Cass District Health Department will accept sharps collected at the following sites, and ONLY during the dates/times listed for the 2020 year.

Residents MUST NEVER LEAVE their sharps containers outside of the health department (i.e.: on the sidewalk, next to door, etc.)  YOU MUST SPEAK WITH A HEALTH DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE prior to acceptance of your sharps containers.


Sharps will ONLY BE ACCEPTED at the following locations and ONLY during the dates & times listed below.




260 South St. Lawrence, MI 49064

302 S. Front St, upstairs, Dowagiac, MI 49047

Thursday, May 20, 2021            8:30 am - 4 pm

Thursday, May 7, 2021          8:30 am – 4 pm

Thursday, August 12, 2021              8:30 am – 4 pm

Thursday, July 29, 2021               8:30 am – 4 pm

Thursday, November 4, 2021     8:30 am – 4 pm

Thursday, October 21, 2021            8:30 am – 4 pm




This office is closed during the lunch hr.12-1pm

Research has documented that syringes remain infectious for prolonged periods.  Safe disposal sites reduce:

·         Sharing of syringes,

·         Circulation time of syringes,

·         Percentage of contaminated syringes in circulation, and

·         Risk of exposure/needle stick injuries


The use of sharps presents an opportunity for cuts, abrasions, and puncture wounds.  Two of the most common causes of needle sticks are re-capping needles and improper disposal of needles. All needle sticks, and other sharps injuries, carry the risk of secondary infections in addition to exposure to the needle’s contents and/or contamination on the outside of the needle or other sharp instruments.  Sharps usage may also represent a risk of exposure to infectious agents or other hazardous materials via sprays and aerosolsparticularly from non-needle-locking syringes.


Medical facilities, schools and businesses should still utilize their existing medical disposal services to dispose of sharps used at their location.  The new sharps collection service at the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department is for residents utilizing sharps for personal use outside of a medical facility, school or business.


Residents should never put sharps into their recycling or regular household trash.  Non-residents should reach out to their local health department within their community for safe disposal options.


For more information, call Van Buren/Cass District Health Department at 269-621-3143 press 0 for the operator.