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How do I dispose of used Prescriptions and Needles?

Are you unsure what to do with your unused, left-over, expired prescriptions, vitamins, supplements or injectables, syringes or needles?

There are proper disposal guidelines for medicines and injectables to help reduce harm from accidental exposure or intentional misuse after they are no longer needed.

Here are some guidelines on how to dispose of unused medication and sharps in a way that ensures it won’t fall into the wrong hands or contaminate the groundwater in your area.

Sharps (Needles) Disposal

Some common medications we prescribe for Men such as Pregnyl, HCG, Novarel, and Testosterone, etc. use a needle to administer.

  • Talk to your pharmacist about disposal options.
  • Subscribe to a regular safe collection service of used needles from your household or use a mail-in program to send in used sharps. Some are listed here:
  • Destroy needles at home by purchasing a needle destruction unit available online, in health care stores, and at pharmacies.
  • It is still legal in Minnesota, but NOT recommended, to place needles and syringes in a hard puncture proof container, tightly seal the container (duct tape), label the container sharps or needles, and place the container in your household trash. The container cannot be placed in the recycling as the needles and fluids are hazardous waste and pose a danger to the people sorting the material by hand. Some County’s like Washington County accept sharps to be collected at their Environmental Center. Please check with yours.


Disposal of Prescription Medicines & Vitamins

Dispose of unused / left-over prescriptions (bio-identical  Progesterone, Estrogen, Testosterone and other prescription meds), over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements, and pet medications in the green containers provided in the lobby at various locations in Hennepin County. Needles and syringes not accepted at these locations.  Some disposal locations nearby are:

  • Edina Hennepin County Library – Southdale, 7009 York Ave. S., Edina
  • Minnetonka Hennepin County District Court Ridgedale –  12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka
  • Brooklyn Park Hennepin County Sheriff’s Patrol Headquarters – 9401 83rd Ave N, Brooklyn Park

For more information and rules on disposals, check your County’s website. Here are a few links:


Thank you for your effort for making our communities safer!

Staff at Innovative Directions in Health


Published on: 01-28-2016