Syringe Clean-up

We know that used and discarded syringes are a real problem around South Minneapolis – and we support a variety of harm reduction measures that we believe can alleviate this problem. In the meantime, the good news is that it’s possible to clean up syringes safely. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Wear gloves if available, and always wash your hands well afterwards.
  • Make sure you can see the syringe clearly (use tools other than your body to move debris around it if needed).
  • Pick up the syringe carefully by the middle of the barrel, avoiding the needle end.
  • Do not try to recap the syringe, as this is an easy way to accidentally stick yourself.
  • Have your disposal container ready to put the syringe into, needle end first. Place the container nearby, so you don’t have to travel far with the syringe.
  • More about syringe clean-up safety is available here.


  • You can contact Southside through the form below with questions about disposal, including getting a biohazard bin for your household.
  • Syringes should be placed into a rigid, puncture-proof plastic container (such as an empty laundry detergent bottle) with a screw-on lid. These can be taped shut, labeled “Do not recycle: Household sharps,” and put into the trash.
  • In Minneapolis, there is also a “syringe drop box pilot program.” Click for more info, including a list of current drop box locations.
  • More info about disposing of syringes in Hennepin County is available here.

Clean-up requests

If you’ve spotted loose syringes around South Minneapolis that you’d like Southside volunteers to clean up, submit details through the form below. We’ll do our best to get volunteers out to take care of it!* If you have any other questions or concerns about doing clean-ups, please also use the form to contact us.

*Please note: We are only able to respond to requests for clean-ups around South Minneapolis right now. While we aren’t always able to come immediately, we’ll do our best to respond within a few days.