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Safe needle and syringe disposal

The safe disposal of needles, syringes, and lancets (sharps) protects residents, City workers, and the environment.​

Boston residents use syringes for many health care conditions at home. These includes diabetes, allergies, multiple sclerosis, and more. We have tips below on how to handle and dispose of syringes. We also have information on drop-off sites in Boston.

Tips for getting rid of syringes

What to do with used syringes

Used syringes and other sharps should always be placed in a sharps container and disposed of safely. Bring them to a drop-off site. IV drug users can enroll in a Needle Exchange Program, and take part in other harm reduction services.

Do not clip, bend, or recap needles. Always keep sharps and containers away from children and pets.

Mail-back options

If you can’t visit a drop-off center in Boston, consider using a mail-back service. They offer many container sizes and prepaid mailing cartons. The state recommends these two services:

Don’t put syringes in the trash

Throwing syringes in the trash, recycling bin, or disposing of them anywhere that is not a safe needle disposal container is against the law. You could also get a fine. If you don’t use a safe container, you risk the health and safety of the public and City workers.

If you find a needle outside

Please call BOS:311 at 3-1-1 or 617-635-4500. Tell us the location of the needle or needles with as much detail as possible. Our Mobile Sharps Team will find and collect the needle. You can also file a request online:

Needle pickup request

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