Needles and Sharps Disposal
Many people rely on using needles and syringes to maintain their health or that of a family member or friend. Injecting equipment is also used by injecting drug users, and for animal healthcare by pet and livestock owners.
Community sharps is the name used to describe needles, syringes, lancets and similar equipment resulting from these activities.
Disposal of community sharps should always be kept secure and separate from other wastes. Because of the high risk of injury to workers and other community members they should never be disposed of:
- in household waste or recycling bins (plastic syringes are not recyclable)
- in public litter bins
- by flushing down toilets or drains
- by discarding into the environment.
If you inject at home you should use a sharps container or other appropriate puncture resistant container (not glass), store container out of reach of children and seal lid when ¾ full and dispose of container at a community sharps disposal facility listed below.
If you are injecting away from home you should place injecting equipment in a community public sharps bin or place injecting equipment in a sharps container or other appropriate puncture resistant container (not glass) and dispose of container at a community sharps disposal facility listed below.
If you find a needle and/or syringe in a public place please contact the Needle Clean Up Hotline 1800 633 353.
While the risk of acquiring a serious infection as a result of an accidental injury from a community sharp is extremely low, the concern and anxiety resulting from such an injury can be significant.
Free Community Sharps Disposal Facilities
Council has developed a service agreement with local pharmacies to assist in the safe disposal of community sharps so please take your sharps container or sealed puncture resistant container (not glass) to one of the pharmacies at the following locations for free disposal:
- Terry White Chemist, The Plaza, Alstonville
- Main Street Pharmacy, Main Street, Alstonville
- Wollongbar Pharmacy, Simpson Avenue, Wollongbar
- Our Chemist, Ballina West Shopping Centre, Ballina
- Chemmart, River Street, Ballina
- Blooms the Chemist, Ballina Fair Shopping Centre, Ballina
- Lennox Head Pharmacy, Ballina Street, Lennox Head
- East Ballina Pharmacy, Links Avenue, East Ballina