Needles and Sharps Never Go in the Trash or Recycling Email Needles and sharps are hazardous waste. It is illegal to put them in the trash or recycling, where they pose a serious health risk to sanitation workers. When needles are hidden in trash or recycling, it’s easy for workers to accidentally handle them. If a worker is pierced by a needle, they may have to wait up to a year to know if they’ve contracted a blood-borne virus, such as hepatitis B. To protect yourself, your family and your sanitation workers, always dispose of sharps in designated sharps containers and take them to a sharps disposal facility. Learn how to get containers and find disposal locations here.