Tips & Advice / Tips & Tutorials

ideas for disposing of old needles and pins

I’m always really terrified of hurting someone when i throw out my old needles and pins, so i end up wrapping everything up in many layers of packing tape and then throwing in the trash. It’s not a perfect solution, and i don’t like that its not eco friendly.

So this week on Instagram i asked the question of how other people dispose of their old needles and pins, and there were so many awesome ideas that i thought it would be great to share them with you here! So without further ado, here are some awesome ideas for how to dispose of your old pins and needles

  • Wrap them up in piles of tape (I”m not the only one! hehehe partners in crime Jen, Elena, and Helene)
  • Place them in your local sharps bin (thanks to Judy and Charlotte for this fantastic idea)
  • Stick them in a cork before throwing in the trash (thanks to Sylvie for this one)
  • Take an old needle packet, write “OLD” on the front and put all your old needles in. When it’s full, tape it closed and throw away. ( idea from Measure Twice, Marilla, Kathy and Edna)
  • Put them in an old pill container (Thanks Issy, Kate, Misty)
  • Put them into an old spice jar (Thanks Issy)
  • Put them into an old tic tac container (via Janomegnome)
  • Put them in an old film container (thanks for the idea Claire)
  • Place in a mason jar labelled “sharps” and empty into recycling when full (thanks Amanda)
  • And my favourite idea, put them in an old metal mints tin, the whole thing can be thrown into the recycling (idea by Kerry)
*update* I didn’t realise this but apparently in some places recycling is hand sorted, and sharp objects are no allowed in recycling, so it’s definitely worth checking the rules where you live before you throw anything loosely into the recycling or trash bin.
Apologies if i left anyone out, SO many good ideas!! So did we miss any?? Do you have any great tips for how to dispose of old needles and pins?
About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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9 years ago

What? People properly dispose of needles!? I thought that’s what a vacuum was for? :)

Kat @ House of Lane
9 years ago

I have a little gremlin hiding in my house who steals all my pins so I’ve never had to dispose of any. I believe he also has my missing socks! Needles on the other hand I pop in an old needle packet before tossing them.

Deb Cox
Deb Cox
9 years ago

Brilliant. Thanks for this wonderful tidbit of what to do with needles. So simple but so important.

9 years ago

I use an old pill bottle too. Not sure where I came across that tip, but it’s worked well for me.

9 years ago

Where I live (Minnesota, US), sharps are considered dangerous waste. Single-stream recycling, which is common in urban areas, means that there are people hand-sorting the recycling materials. Imagine if a tin opens up, needles spill out, and now a person has to pick through the needles or, more likely, the entire bin’s worth of recyclable goods is labeled as unsalvagable and then thrown in the landfill. Even with gloves on, I would not want a loved one picking through needle-laced recyclables. Glass and metal still have to be separated, so the glass jar with a metal lid and metal innards has to be emptied and the sharps have to be handled. Sorry to be a downer, but I think needles should be securely packaged and then thrown away.

Kathy Brosnan
Kathy Brosnan
9 years ago

BD in the US makes dark red hard plastic sharps disposal containers obtainable at the pharmacy. They are inexpensive. I’m sure you have something similar wherever you are. When yours is full (which may be years if you are only dumping pins and needles used in sewing), you can put it on the top of the can to alert your collector. Some jurisdictions have stiffer rules for sharps, but this should do.

michelle julius
5 years ago

this company recycles rotary blades