Needles, Sharps & Syringes

Needles, Sharps & Syringes

Sharps pose a safety hazard so it is important to dispose of them safely to prevent injury and disease transmission.

Use the following options for safe disposal of sharps:

Check with your clinic or hospital for collection programs. Do not bring used needles, syringes or lancets to your health care provider if they are unable to accept them.

Destroy your needles at home. Purchase and use destruction devices that bend, break, incinerate (destroy by high heat) or sheer needles. Search the Internet on Needle Destruction Devices or ask your health care provider or pharmacist for more information.

Mail-back programs allow residents to mail used needles, syringes and lancets to licensed dis posal facilities (fees apply). Search the Internet for Sharps Mailback or check with your health care provider or pharmacist for more information.

It is legal to put loose needles, syringes and lancets in the garbage.  However, because of safety and health risks to solid waste workers, the options listed above are preferred. Follow these steps for safe garbage disposal:

  • Place sharps into a container such as plastic laundry detergent bottle with the lid taped shut.
  • Label the container "Do not recycle: household sharps."
  • Put sharps in  point-first .
  • Dispose of containers in the garbage when they are half-full.  Never place in the recycling bin.


For  more  information, see the Minnesota  Pollution  Control  Agency 's Pharmaceutical Waste: 

Prescription for unused medicines

Managing unwanted medicaitons

Safe Disposal for Needles and Syringes

Medication to the box