Needle and syringe programs: your questions answered

I have found a needle and syringe near my home, what should I do?

Page last updated: 2005

The recommended way to dispose of a discarded needle and syringe varies between states and territories in Australia. If you do find a needle and syringe the preferred option for disposal is to contact the Needle Clean Up Hotline or local council in your area. They will usually arrange for the needle and syringe to be collected within 48 hours. A list of contacts can be found at the back of this booklet.

If you find a needle and syringe and want to dispose of it yourself, find a hard plastic container with a screw top (such as a plastic juice, milk or soft drink bottle). Take the container to the syringe. Keep away from the sharp end of the needle. Carefully pick up the syringe by the barrel. Do not replace the cap on the needle. Needle point first, put the syringe in to the container and seal it tightly. Ring the Needle Clean Up Hotline or local council in your area to arrange for the container to be collected. Alternatively, you can put the container with the needle and syringe inside in to a syringe disposal bin if one is nearby.

Do not put needles and syringes down toilets or drains as they will end up in the waterways or on beaches.

Do not put needles and syringes in household waste or recycling bins.

Tell children not to touch or pick up needles and syringes and to always call an adult for help.

If you find a needle and syringe the preferred option for disposal is to contact the Needle Clean Up Hotline or local council in your area.

If you find a needle and syringe and want to dispose of it yourself:

  • Take a hard plastic container with a screw top and place it on the ground beside the needle and syringe.

  • Keeping away from the sharp end of the needle, carefully pick up the syringe by the barrel.

  • Needle point first, put the syringe in to the container and seal it tightly.

  • Place the container in a needle and syringe disposal bin if there is one nearby or contact the Needle Clean Up Hotline or local council in your area.