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Posted on: September 7, 2023

SWA’s September Household Hazardous Waste Tip: Keep Medications and Needles Out of Recycling Bins

Prescriptions medications and sharps require proper disposal.

SWA’s September Household Hazardous Waste Tip: Keep Medications and Needles Out of Recycling Bins

If medicines help you, make sure they don’t hurt solid waste workers or our environment. Prescription medications and needles, or sharps, should not be thrown into the garbage or recycling bin. They require proper disposal.

Palm Beach County residents can dispose of prescription medications and needles, or sharps, at many locations countywide.*

Prescription Medications

Keep prescription medicines out of the hands of strangers, away from children and out of the water supply by taking advantage of Operation Pill Drop. This is a partnership between the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County (SWA), the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and many local police departments.

Operation Pill Drop boxes are located throughout Palm Beach County to provide residents easy drop off of unwanted or expired medications. Residents may also call the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office at 561-681-4460 for specific instructions. Until you’re ready to dispose of unwanted or expired prescription medications, do your part by making sure they’re secure.

Learn more about the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition’s work to keep our communities healthy, safe and drug-free on their website


Used needles, or sharps, including syringes with needles, detached needles and disposable lancets may carry infectious diseases. These can pose a danger to solid waste workers or anyone who accidentally comes into contact with them. The SWA does NOT accept sharps or biomedical waste through the trash, in recycle bins or at any Home Chemical & Recycling Center.

To find an appropriate needles drop-off location in Palm Beach County, call the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County at 561-837-5900.

Remember, pollution prevention starts at home. Visit or call 561-697-2700 or 866-SWA-INFO (866-792-4636) to learn more about the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County’s Home Chemical & Recycling Centers.

*Businesses that generate biomedical waste are regulated by both the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The FDOH has primary authority and responsibility for facilities that generate, transport, store or treat biomedical waste through processes other than incineration. The FDEP has primary responsibility for biomedical waste incineration and final disposal.


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