Monroe County, Indiana

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Safe Sharps Disposal

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improper sharps disposal

If you have come across an improperly disposed of syringe in a public space in Monroe County, you may call (812) 349-2543, leave a message with  your name, phone number, and specific location of syringe, and staff will respond during normal business hours.  

Staff do not provide call-back confirmation that a syringe had been disposed of as a part of this service. 

If there are syringes already in a dumpster or other waste disposal unit, please contact the sanitation service provider for that unit to alert them of the location and that there are sharps in the unit. 

MCHD is not equipped as a bio-hazard cleanup crew. If there is a large volume of syringes and other types of waste, if syringes are on private property, state property, or in an enclosed area without public access, please note that we may not be able to provide pickup services. 

If you need to dispose of a needle or sharp: 

DO NOT force needles or sharps into a container, put fingers inside the container, bend, break, recap or remove the needle, or walk while holding the needle. 

INSTEAD make sure that you can clearly see and move around the needle, ensure no children or others are nearby, use gloves, and bring your sharps container or alternative to the needle, not the other way around. 

TAKE ACTION by putting on gloves, placing the container on the ground beside the syringe, picking the syringe up by the middle of the barrel by using tongs or gloved hands (whichever provides the most control), placing the syringe into the sharps container sharp end first, securing the lid of the sharps container, removing gloves, and washing your hands. 

If you do not have access to a SHARPS container, use a sturdy, puncture-resistant container with a tight fitting, puncture-resistant lid (such as a laundry detergent bottle) to dispose of the syringe. After placing the syringe into the container, tape the lid and write 'Sharps - Do Not Recycle' clearly and legibly on the outside of the container before placing it in the trash. You may also drop off sharps at a community drop-off location.

Monroe County Syringe Service Program provides education and materials for picking up and disposing of sharps found in the community. Below are a printable brochure and flyer filled with information about how to safely handle sharps to use as a reference. We hope that with these Monroe County specific tools, you can feel more empowered to dispose of sharps found in the community. 

Safe Disposal

Staying Smart With Sharps exterior


The map below highlights locations where community partners have publicly available sharps containers on site for non-commercial, community use.

MCHD relies on limited grant funding to dispose of community found sharps. If you are a medical provider or other business who regularly generate sharps waste, we ask that you utilize Solid Waste Management or establish another regular disposal provider such as SteriCycle, as community disposal boxes are intended for general community use, not commercial or business use.

Mail back options can also be purchased for individuals or businesses through providers like SteriCycle, McKesson, and even Amazon.

Click on the arrow icon to the left of 'Monroe County Sharps Disposal' to view the map legend. This includes information about where the disposal units are located, what they look like, what hours the units are accessible and other relevant information. This is not an exhaustive list, and will be updated. If your agency would like to be listed on this map, please email 

City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Partnership 

For the 2020 calendar year Monroe County Health Department and Bloomington Parks Department piloted a syringe disposal program with containers available in three city parks: Seminary Park, Rev. E. Butler Park, and Building Trades Park. For the news release regarding the partnership, click here. This partnership was renewed in April 2021 (see meeting minutes section B-2 for more info). 


Community members often ask about medication disposal. Below are some resources in Monroe County: 

CVS Pharmacy 2701 E. 3rd St., Bloomington, IN (812) 332-1419
A medication disposal kiosk is located in the back near the pharmacy. It is preferred for medication to be in the original container, though it can be accepted in other non-breakable containers. Medication must be double-bagged and sealed if in a Zip-loc bag. Liquids are limited to a 4 oz. maximum. 
Monroe County Solid Waste District 3400 S. Walnut St., Bloomington, IN (812) 349-2020
Expired or unused over-the-counter medications can be taken for disposal during business hours of 7:30am-5:30pm Tuesday - Saturday. 

The Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force has mapped a list of permanent take-back locations in Indiana linked here

For more information on safe medication disposal:

This page was updated/reviewed 6/2023

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Contact Us

Lori Kelley,
Health Administrator
Health Building
119 W 7th St
Bloomington, IN 47404
Get Directions
  • Phone: (812) 349-2543
  • Fax: (812) 339-6481
  • Staff Directory
  • M - F 8:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m.

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