Needle and syringe management
Needles and syringes are used for a range of purposes, including diabetics and people on dialysis, and pet and livestock owners for animal health care. They are also used by injecting drug users (see safe injecting).
'Community Sharps' is the name used to describe needles, syringes, lancets, canulas and other equipment used for these activities.
Safe disposal of sharps
Sharps must be kept secure and separate from other waste. They can cause injury and a health risk to workers and residents if not disposed of correctly.
Never dispose of sharps in recycling bins, garbage bins, street litter bins, or down toilets or drains.
You can place needles into a plastic container with a secure lid (for example a plastic drink bottle with lid secured tightly) and then put bottle into red bin. Do not use glass containers.
All harm reduction and needle syringe programs and pharmacy needle exchanges provide safe disposal bins for sharps.
Report needles in public places
If you find a needle in a public place, call the NSW Health Needle Clean-up Hotline on 1800 633 353 or Council on 02 6670 2400.
Needle exchange locations
Tweed Heads Hospital
Powell / Florence Streets, Tweed Heads 2485 - 07 5506 7540
The needle dispensing machine on the grounds of Tweed District Hospital is located at the rear of the Needle Syringe Program office on Florence Street (directly below the entrance to the Community Health Centre).
Drop-in service open: Monday to Friday 1.30 pm - 4 pm
Hospital Emergency Department will provide back-up service if vending machines do not operate. 24 hours sharps safe-disposal bin.
Murwillumbah Hospital - needle syringe program
Ewing Street, Murwillumbah - 02 6672 1822
There is a sharps disposal bin next to the 24hr 'fitpack' needle dispensing machine at the front of Murwillumbah hospital (charges apply).
Drop-in service open: Tuesday and Thursday: 9.30 am - 12 noon
Back up service through the emergency department.