Please dispose of medical sharps responsibly

Published on 27 November 2023

Used syringes on the ground at a public landfill waste drop-off location.

Council is urging the Snowy Monaro community to do the right thing when disposing of syringes and medical sharps, following an alarming rise in the number of loose and uncapped syringes encountered by waste staff in domestic rubbish.

Dozens of medical sharps have been found in kerbside waste, recycling, FOGO and at the landfill public drop-off point over the past several months.

These improperly disposed of syringes and medical sharps pose a serious risk to the health and wellbeing of our dedicated waste workers, and to the wider community when dumped openly at public landfill waste drop-off locations.

A Council employee sustained a needle-stick injury in the past month due to one of these syringes. Thankfully, ongoing medical testing indicates that they have avoided contracting a serious disease.

This incident shows that the threat to our community from syringes and medical sharps is very real. HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are some of the potential diseases than can be contracted from a needle-stick injury.

How to do the right thing with your used medical sharps and syringes:

Evidence suggests that the syringes and medical sharps found at Council waste facilities are coming from legitimate medical users.

We’re sharing this update to provide medical users of syringes and other sharps, and their carers, with the information they need to do the right thing with their used sharps and syringes.

  1. Use a sharps container
    • A 500mL sharps container can be purchased online for less than $5, and protects users, their families, and the public from the dangers posed by used medical sharps – even in the event of improper disposal in kerbside bins or at landfills. Local pharmacies across the Snowy Monaro stock these cheap and easy to use items.

  2. Use an authorised sharps disposal location
    • You can dispose of syringes and medical sharps easily and discreetly at authorised disposal locations across the region. This is the safest and only approved method for disposal of medical sharps.
    • Authorised sharps disposal is available at Berridale Pharmacy, Bombala Hospital, Cooma Hospital, Delegate Multipurpose Service, Jindabyne Health One (downstairs carpark), and Jindabyne Pharmacy.

Email or call 1300 345 345 with any questions, concerns, or for further information.


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