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 and public toilets to encourage sharps waste to be managed separately from general waste.  

Go to to find your local community sharps bins.

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, with no cases of HIV ever acquired from a discarded needle in the community.

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.

Community Sharps management program
The video below was funded by NSW Ministry of Health

Safe disposal procedure

If you do not feel comfortable disposing of a needle or syringe, or you would like further advice, please call the NSW needle clean up hotline on 1800 633 353. 

  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. 


More advice and information

Needle Clean Up Hotline
For when you find needles in a public place: 1800 633 353

Post Exposure Hotline
If you think you have been exposed to HIV, for immediate advice: 1800 737 669

Sharps bins in NSW
Visit to find the nearest location.

Community sharps
Visit 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 65 community sharps bins and offers needle clean-up services as required. 

Free syringe disposal services are offered at these locations in the local area: 

Bob's Chemist Newtown304–306 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042

Carillon Medical Centre Pharmacy
100 Carillon Avenue
Newtown NSW 2042

Diabetes Australia NSW26 Arundel Street
Glebe NSW 2037

Fresh Therapeutics Broadway
M102, Level 1, Broadway Shopping Centre
Ultimo NSW 2007

Gold Cross Pharmacy
118 Redfern Street
Redfern NSW 2016

Sharpes Pharmacy
12–14 Flinders Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010

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.

Last updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2016