What to do with it when you're done with it
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Recycle your Medical Needles / "Sharps"

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Medical Needles / "Sharps"


Medical Needles / "Sharps"


Medical Needles/syringes or other "sharps" will not be collected. Many area pharmacies and clinics dispose of used medical needles for their patients. Ask your doctor of pharmacist if they have a program for the proper disposal of medical needles.

Sharps, such as medical needles, syringes, and lancets pose a problem for our collection crews when they are improperly mixed with trash or recyclables. Sharps are a significant health concern for all workers who handle solid waste whether at the curb, the landfill, or the recycling facility. All needle stick injuries require workers to undergo extensive testing, pose serious disease risks and can cause long-term emotional stress.

State regulations require households to safely package sharps for proper disposal and prohibit putting sharps in the landfill.


The City of Madison’s sharps disposal program is simple to use and free of charge. All you have to do is properly package your used needles and take them to a pharmacy located in the City for disposal.

Madison’s sharps disposal program has made a big difference. In the eight years the program has been in place, there have been fewer than five needle related injuries to our employees. Before the program was established there were as many as ten such incidents a year.


Place your used sharps in a red plastic sharps disposal container or a used plastic laundry bottle labeled with a “Biohazard” or “Sharps” sticker. Stickers are available at participating pharmacies or by calling 267-2626. When your container is full bring it to a participating pharmacy.

For a complete list of participating pharmacies visit http://www.cityofmadison.com/streets/hazardousSharps.cfm or call 267-2626.

Disposal Options