Home Healthcare Needle Disposal Program

What Is the Home Healthcare Needle Disposal Program?

Many community residents have medical conditions that require self-injections at home. Because of issues regarding safety and disease transmission, the disposal of home-generated needles, syringes and lancets (or "sharps") has caused some concern on the part of families, refuse services, recycling facilities and landfills.

Responding to this growing concern, The Sioux Falls Public Works, Environmental Division sponsors free Sharps Drop-off locations at a variety of locations throughout Sioux Falls.*

How Does the Program Work?

FREE sharps containers can be picked up at:

Lewis Drug Pharmacies

  • All Sioux Falls Lewis Drug Locations, including Sanford Hospital (Medical Building 2), and Sanford Clinic (69th Street and Minnesota Avenue)
  • Lewis Drug Stores in Brandon, Canton, Dell Rapids, Madison, Lennox, Viborg, and Tea

Hy-Vee Pharmacies

  • All Sioux Falls Hy-Vee Locations

Walgreens Pharmacies

  • All Sioux Falls Walgreens Locations

When your container is full, return it to the location you received it and another empty container will be given to you.

Disposal Guidelines

  • Put only needles, syringes, lancets, and transdermal patches into the disposal container.
  • Tightly seal the lid prior to disposal.
  • Give directly to the pharmacy attendant.
  • Receive a new FREE container.
  • DO NOT use unapproved containers.
  • DO NOT throw container in garbage.
  • DO NOT add bleach or chlorine.

Who Can Participate?

The Sharps Disposal Program is available to any Minnehaha, Lake, Lincoln, McCook or Turner County resident who uses needles, syringes, lancets, or other sharps in their home.

*This program is for residential use only, businesses can contact the Environmental Division for disposal options.  

Questions regarding the needle disposal program can be directed to the Sioux Falls Environmental Division at 367-8276. 

Pharmaceutical Disposal

Why should I properly dispose of medical waste?

If flushed down the drain, pharmaceuticals can accumulate in water systems and contaminate water supplies, potentially affecting the natural hormones and development of wildlife.

How can I properly dispose of unused pharmaceuticals?

The Sioux Falls Police Department offers a “Drug Take Back” program. This program allows citizens to drop off unused medications in a locked container in the lobby of the Law Enforcement Center from 6 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday- Friday. By properly disposing of unused medications, the “Drug Take Back” program helps to keep our environment safe.

If there are no proper disposal options, Federal guidelines offer the following recommendations:

1.Do not flush medications down the toilet.

2.Leave pharmaceuticals in original container. Remove any personal information from the container but leave medication information clearly visible.

3.Modify the contents to discourage consumption. •Solid Medication—add a small amount of water to at least partially dissolve them and follow the instructions for liquids below

    •Liquid Medication—add enough table salt, kitty litter, coffee grounds, charcoal, or non-toxic powdered spice, such as mustard seed, to make a pungent, unpleasant mixture; it should be solidified with no free liquid after mixing

    •Blister Packs—wrap packages containing pills in multiple layers of opaque tape, like duct tape

4. If there are no other outlets for disposing of pharmaceuticals, best practice is to place the container in with your regular household trash.