Needles and Sharps Never Go in the Trash or Recycling Email 4-15-18 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.