Needles – Syringes – Sharps

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Needles and syringes used by diabetics and others for self-administration of prescription drugs are not recyclable. 

Home-generated needles and other sharps thrown into household waste present a great risk to sanitation and water treatment workers, janitors, housekeepers, children – even pets.

New self-contained dispensers can be disposed of in the garbage when empty but whenever you change a needle that needle must be handled and disposed of carefully.

Local hospitals, clinics, drugstores, etc. in Illinois will NOT take sharps for disposal nor will the Hazardous Waste Site.

Note: The Household Hazardous Waste site at 3333 Kishwaukee Street, Rockford will accept Insulin for disposal, but no needles, sharps or other medication.


 For Needle Disposal in Northern Illinois:

  • Use a securable container, like a coffee can, milk bottle, plastic soda bottle, laundry detergent bottle, etc.
  • Place the sharps into the container carefully with the points down.
  • Do not overfill the bottle.  About half full is the best time to dispose of it.
  • Glue the lid in place!  You may also secure some lids with heavy tape, like duct tape.
  • Wrap the container in several plastic bags and then tape the entire package securely.
  • Clearly print “DO NOT RECYCLE” on the outside of the package.
  • Place in regular garbage for disposal.
  • Instructions from the State of Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

For Mail In Disposal:

Some drug companies offer mail-back sharps disposal for their specific products. (

A number of private companies offer solutions for businesses or people who need to dispose of sharps at home, including:





Janca needle pulverizer

Most pharmacies offer some type of mail-in packaging for sale online or in retail locations.


For Resident Disposal in Southern Wisconsin Only:

1531 Madison Road
Beloit, WI 53511
(608) 365-1904
Accepts sharps, needles and syringes for disposal if properly prepared:
1. Preferrably in approved Sharps disposal containers
2. If no approved containers available, use a plastic milk bottle or other hard plastic container
3. Place sharps into the container carefully with the points down
4. Do not overefill the bottle.  About half-full is the best time to dispose of it
5. Take to the above address in Beloit, WI
Note: Walgreens Drugs in Illinois do NOT accept sharps!



Please email if you are aware of more resources.


Last Update:  09/20/16