Medical Waste and Sharps

Information about the disposal of medications and our sharps container exchange program

"Sharps” is a medical term for devices with sharp points or edges that can puncture or cut skin. These can include hypodermic needles, fingersticks, and "pen" injectors. 

In Oregon, it is illegal to throw sharps in the trash. Doing so can expose garbage haulers and other disposal workers to possible injury or disease. Sharps containers are readily available at the Columbia County Transfer Station and several pharmacies throughout the county. 

If you use sharps at home, follow these easy steps to use our FREE sharps container exchange program:

  • It is FREE to enroll at any of these locations
    • Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District 280 SE Third Street, Clatskanie Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    • Columbia River Fire & Rescue – Rainier Station 211 West 2nd Street, Rainier Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    • Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District 12525 Highway 202, Mist Hours: Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    • Scappoose Rural Fire District 52751 Columbia River Highway, Scappoose Hours: Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    • Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District 555 East Bridge Street, Vernonia Hours: Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Call for Appt. (503) 429-8252
    • And the original site – The Columbia County Transfer Station, 1601 Railroad Ave; St. Helens Hours: Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.                                                         
  • bring your full sharps container back to any participating fire stations or the Columbia County Transfer Station for proper disposal and receive a new empty container at no cost
  • post this flyer→Sharps Exchange Program in your home for easy reference. 

Medication and prescriptions

Expired, unused or unwanted medications and prescription drugs can be dropped into the MedReturn collection boxes at the Rainier Police Dept., Vernonia Police Dept., Columbia City - City Hall, and Columbia County Sheriff  (call for hours)

Request a pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope at 

Garbage and Recycling Quick Links
General Information
Phone Numbers
Emergencies: Dial 911
1054 Oregon St.
St. Helens,