Needles NEVER Go in the Bin

Recycling Rules

Needles and Sharps should NEVER be placed in the recycling bin.

Do your part to protect your waste hauler and recycling workers! NEVER place loose needles or sharps in recycling bins and ONLY use approved sharps containers for disposal.


  1. Pick up your FREE red sharps container at a participating Sioux Falls area pharmacy (locations listed below).
  2. Place sharps in the approved container (DO NOT PLACE SHARPS in any other container that could be confused as a recyclable item).
  3. When full, bring container back to the pharmacy and exchange for a new, empty container (DO NOT throw needles in the recycling bin!!).


  • Needles, Syringes, Lancets, Hypodermic needles, Pen needles, Intravenous needles
  • Transdermal Patches can also be placed in Sharps Container


It’s estimated that hundreds, if not well over a thousand, recycling workers are injured by needles annually. At Millennium, we see sharps come in at least once a week, if not daily. These are typically not coming from medical facilities, but from people with conditions such as diabetes or cancer, who need to regularly self-inject medicine or test their levels at home.

If they are mistakenly placed in the recycling bin, the containers usually get crushed in transit and an unfortunate recycling worker has to pick the jagged remains from the sorting equipment. Although gloves are worn, needles are capable of piercing them. If someone gets pricked, we must take it VERY seriously. Along with the cut itself, there is a possibility bloodborne illness transmission such as HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other viruses and infections. The individual undergoes immediate testing and be monitored for months following exposure, with additional testing down the road until they are cleared. This is VERY scary and not something anyone should be exposed to.

It’s only with your help and continued education of the community that we can promote safe needle disposal!


Available to any Minnehaha, Lake, Lincoln, McCook or Turner County resident (businesses can contact the Environmental Division for disposal options at 367-8276).

  • All Sioux Falls Hy-Vee Locations
  • Lewis Drug Pharmacies:  Sioux Falls, Brandon, Canton, Dell Rapids, Madison, Lennox, Viborg, and Tea. Includes Sanford Hospital (Medical Building 2), and Sanford Clinic (69th Street and Minnesota Avenue)

Remember – Never put needles or sharps in a recycling container!