We provide a free sharps safe disposal service to anyone who uses needle and syringes, such as diabetics, people with a terminal illness or injecting drug users. You can collect and dispose of sharps containers at any Community Link.
What should I do if I find a discarded syringe?
If you find a discarded syringe you can collect it yourself (using the guidelines below) and bring it to any Community Link to be disposed of, or you can call the Eastern Metropolitan Region Syringe Disposal hotline on 0430 524 749 and report the exact location of the syringe. The syringe will be picked up within 24hrs.
These numbers may also be helpful if you have syringe management issues.
- Syringe Helpline (24 hour information service) 1800 552 355
- Direct Line (24 hour confidential drug and alcohol counselling and referral) 1800 888 236
How do I safely collect a syringe?
If you are going to remove a discarded syringe make sure you follow these guidelines and take your time:
- put on disposable latex or plastic gloves
- find a strong plastic container with a lid, such as a fruit juice bottle, and place it on the ground near the syringe
- pick up the syringe by the barrel end only, and never touch the sharp end
- never try to recap the syringe or break off the needle
- put the syringe inside the container and screw the lid on tightly
- wash hands with soap and water
- take the container to a Community Link
- never throw the syringe or container down the toilet, into the gutter or drain or put it into the garbage or recycling bin.
What should I do if I have a needle stick injury?
If you are pricked or scratched with a discarded needle the risk of catching a blood borne virus such as HIV, Hepatitis B or C or Tetanus is very low.
If you do receive a needle stick injury it's important you don't panic and follow these guidelines:
- squeeze the wound and allow it to bleed freely
- wash and flush out the wound with soap and running water
- apply a sterile band aid
- try and put the syringe in a screw top container so it can be tested for blood borne viruses
- go to your doctor or local community health centre for testing, advice and support.
For more information contact us on 1300 368 333 or email