Needles – Syringes – Sharps

Needles and syringes used by diabetics and others for self-admnistration of prescription drugs  are not recyclable.  Home-generated needles and other sharps thrown into household waste present a great risk to sanitation and sewage 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.

For Local Disposal in Southern Wisconsin Only:

Walgreens Drug Store
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!

 For Local 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:

Note: Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful offers this information as a public service and in no way recommends any vendor, nor is it responsible for information on other websites or links.

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

Email with more resources.


Last Update:  09/20/16