Community sharps

Community sharps

What are community sharps?

Community sharps are needles, syringes and lancets that are used to administer medications and drugs outside a clinical setting.

We need to dispose of sharps safely to prevent needlestick injury in our public places, at home and for workers who remove waste or clean facilities.

Whether or not a community sharp is used for medication or drug use, sharps are to be treated as clinical waste, like they would be in a hospital.

Local councils have a number of community sharps bins installed in community centres, libraries, parks and public toilets to encourage sharps waste to be managed separately from general waste.

See below for a map of safe disposal locations in our local area.

For when you find needles in a public place:

NSW Health needle clean up hotline

1800 633 353 (Monday–Friday 9am–4pm)

For after-hours assistance, please contact: 

City of Sydney02 9265 9333

Safe disposal of sharps

The above video was funded by NSW Ministry of Health.

Safe disposal procedure

1. Find a puncture proof container such as a plastic drink bottle or takeaway container and take it to the littered syringe. Place the container on the ground.

2. Pick up the syringe from the plunger end.

3. Place the syringe in the container, sharp end first.

4. Place the container in a community sharps bin or for collection call the NSW needle clean up hotline on 1800 633 353.

5. Wash your hands. 

Are there any risks with a needlestick injury? 

The harm most commonly experienced after a needlestick injury is the anxiety it can cause.

Blood borne infections from needlestick injury in the community are extremely low.

What to do if you get a needlestick injury

1. Wash the site with warm running water (do not squeeze the site).

2. Contact your local doctor.

3. For more advice and support, contact the post exposure hotline on 1800 737 669. 

Sharps bins in NSW

Visit safesharps.org.au to find the nearest location.

Community sharps

Visit communitysharps.org.au for more information.

Free disposal services 

Safe needle disposal is important for drug users and many other people in the local community who need sharps to treat chronic conditions such as diabetes. The City manages community sharps bins and offers needle clean-up services as required.

If you are a local pharmacy and wish to be included in the City's community sharps program, please download and complete the application form.

Map of disposal locations

Last updated: Thursday, 21 December 2017