Safe disposal of used needles and syringes (sharps disposal)

Needles, syringes and other sharps are used by a diverse range of people in the community including people with diabetes, people who use steroids and image enhancing drugs, other therapeutic injectors, and people who inject illicit drugs.

Whether generated by people with diabetes, people who inject drugs or others, all used needles and syringes should be treated as hazardous (to mitigate the risk needle stick injury, tetanus, hepatitis B, C and HIV transmission) and should be disposed of safely and legally.

Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia’s (DASSA) Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) operates a sharps disposal service for people who inject drugs and supports NSP sites throughout South Australia. This includes the:

  • distribution of sterile sharps disposal containers with all sterile injecting equipment
  • provision of sharps disposal facilities/bins for return of used injecting equipment training for NSP site staff regarding monitoring/emptying of sharps disposal bins and safe handling of sharps that have been disposed of unsafely.

Used needles and syringes should be placed in a rigid walled container and returned to a facility with a sharps bin such as a community Needle and Syringe Program site or a pharmacy outlet with a sharps disposal facility. Members of the public can contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1300 131 340 for details of their nearest sharps disposal outlet.

What to do if you find used syringes

Sharps disposal related legislation