Medication Disposal Boxes
Practicing safe, legal and regular medicine disposals for expired and unused medications helps prevent medicine misuse and abuse. Conveniently dispose of your medications at one of our medication disposal boxes.
Disposal boxes are installed at both North Memorial Health Pharmacy locations. Medications can be placed in disposal boxes during pharmacy business hours.
Accepted medications include:
- Unused or expired prescription medications
- Over-the-counter medications
- Pet medications
Disposing of Sharps
Sharps are classified as needles, lancets and syringes. To prevent injury and the spread of disease, sharps must be properly stored and disposed of. Never throw loose sharps in the trash and never place a container containing sharps in a recycling bin. Here are a few safe options to properly dispose of sharps.
Drop-off facilities are free of charge and require proof of residency, such as a driver’s license. There are 2 drop-off locations in Hennepin County:
- Bloomington drop-off facility
South Hennepin Recycling and Problem Waste Drop-Off Center
1400 West 96th Street
Bloomington, MN 55431
- Brooklyn Park drop-off facility
Hennepin County Recycling Center and Transfer Station
8100 Jefferson Highway
Brooklyn Park, MN 55445
Sharps can be mailed to licensed disposal companies. There is a fee for this service. Try one of the following:
- Medasend, Inc.: 1-800-200-3581
- Sharps Compliance, Inc.: 1-800-772-5657
- Stericycle, Inc.: 1-866-783-7422
In Minnesota, it is currently legal to put used sharps that are in a laundry detergent bottle with a lid into the garbage, however this is highly discouraged because of the injury and health risks it places on facility workers. It is best to use one of the options above for safe and effective disposal of used sharps.
To learn more about household hazardous wastes and collection programs, contact your county’s solid waste office.
Storage or Destruction of Sharps
Option 1 – Storing Needles in a Container
Store in a rigid, puncture-resistant plastic container with a screw-on lid. Empty laundry detergent bottles work well. You can also purchase a sharps disposal container at any of our pharmacy locations.
- Do not use glass containers, aluminum cans or coffee cans
- Label the empty container “Do Not Recycle: Household Sharps”
- Drop used needles into the container point-first
- Only fill container half full of needles and sharps
- Keep lid screwed on to prevent spills
- Do not put unused medicines contained in sharps (epi-pens) in containers
Option 2 – Destroy at Home
Needle Destruction Devices
You may choose to purchase a needle destruction device. Use this to destroy needles and lancets after each use. The device will melt your sharps into small metal balls that you may throw away in the garbage. Do not recycle.
These automatically store and cut needles and are useful while away from home. Cut needles should be disposed of at a sharps collection site or through a mail-back program.