What Are Sharps and Why Do They Need to Be Discarded in a Special Way?
Sharps include medical needles, syringes, and lancets (finger stick devices) and other sharp medical instruments. Sharps need to be discarded in a special way because of the health risks they pose to people who handle the waste.
Sharps not handled in a proper way can lead to an accidental needle sticks. This can lead to a serious disease to the garbage hauler, neighborhood children and the general public. State law and municipal ordinance makes it illegal to throw out your sharps in your household garbage or your recyclable materials.
What Is the Preferred Method of Disposal for Sharps/ Needles?
- Prices at Greenfield Health Department are $4.00
- Put sharps into an approved red “sharps” container.
- Sharps containers are available for purchase at some local pharmacies and the Greenfield Health Department.
How Do I Dispose of the “Sharps” Containers?
- Contact your pharmacy about their needle disposal policy and fees.
- Greenfield residents may bring full containers to the Greenfield Health Department for safe disposal. Disposal of the sharps is free of charge.
- Laundry bottles and milk jugs are not approved containers.
- See list below for some area registered collection stations that accept sharps.
- Some pharmacies will collect and dispose of sharps in approved containers.
In the City of Greenfield
Near the City of Greenfield
|• Greenfield Health Department
7325 West Forest Home Avenue, Greenfield, WI 53220, Phone: 414-329-5275
Residents Only. Approved red sharps containers only. Available for purchase for $4.00
• Aurora Family Health Clinic & Pharmacy
6901 West Edgerton Avenue, Greenfield, WI 53220, Phone: 414-421-8401
• Pick N' Save Pharmacy
4279 South 76th Street, Greenfield, WI 53220
| • Pick N' Save Pharmacy
3701 South 27th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53221
• Pick N' Save Pharmacy
6462 South 27th Street, Oak Creek, WI 53154, Phone: 414-761-7550
• West Allis Memorial Hospital
8901 West Lincoln Avenue, West Allis, WI 53154, Phone: 414-328-7290
Will accept sturdy plastic laundry containers secured with duct tape. Drop off at Emergency Room, no charge.
American Diabetes Association
Department of Natural Resources
What Should I Do With My Unused or Expired Medication(s)?
Unused and expired medications may be disposed safely at the following location:
Greenfield Law Enforcement Center
5300 W. Layton Avenue
This collection site is available for only Greenfield residents and is open 7:00AM to 11:00PM daily.
4296 S 76th St., Greenfield
By the Pharmacy
This collection site is available to everyone and is open 24hrs.
Please see take back your meds Milwaukee for more locations.
Please follow the disposal directions at each drop location as they may vary depending on site.
NEVER flush or pour unused or expired medicine down the drain. Water reclamation facilities are not designed to remove all of them and trace amounts of pharmaceuticals are showing up in rivers and lakes around the world.
BRING prescription and over-the-counter medications, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, creams, vials and pet medications.
Liquids, creams and sprays (less than 4 oz.) can remain in the original leak proof container AND placed into a clear plastic bag.
DO NOT BRING illegal drugs, needles/sharps, inhalers, aerosol cans, bio-hazardous material (anything containing a bodily fluid or blood), personal care products (shampoo, soaps, lotions, sunscreens, etc.), household hazardous waste (paint, pesticides, oil, gas).
Types of medicines accepted include:
- Liquid medicine (kept in original containers and then put into a Ziploc bag) (in small quantities of 4oz or less)
- Lotions & Ointments (in small quantities of 4 oz or less)
- Over-the-counter medications
- Pet Medications
The collection site will not accept:
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Infectious waste
- Medical devices
- Needles or Sharp objects
Medicine Collection Days
Additionally, the Milwaukee Metro Sewerage District conducts Medicine Collection Days for all Milwaukee County residents each spring.
Do not flush expired or unused medication down the toilet. Flushing medication down the toilet is resulting in trace levels of chemicals commonly found in prescription drugs in our water supply. These chemicals may be harmful to fish and other wild life.
Check with your local pharmacy to see if they will take back medications. (Please see take back your meds Milwaukee for more locations.) Also check if your local community has designated drop-off sites.
If you have no other options, dispose of medication in the garbage by taking these steps:
- Keep the medication in its original container and scratch out your name for security purposes. This includes prescription information.
- Add a small amount of water to pills, or an absorbent material like flour to liquid medication to discourage their use.
- Put the containers in a paper bag or disposable food container like a yogurt or margarine container to conceal them.
- Toss in the garbage as close to your trash pick time as possible.
Donation of unused medicine
You may donate unused or discontinued medications and supplies to a participating pharmacy or medical facility. Those items will be given to individuals with cancer or chronic disease that do not have insurance or are underinsured. Please click for a list of participating facilities.