Syringes - what to do if you find a used one

Tell children to let an adult know if they find a syringe. 

Do not

  • handle a syringe
  • try to break off, bend or cover the sharp end of a syringe.

If you don’t feel confident to safely dispose of the syringe, call the Needle Clean Up Hotline on 1300 13 1340.

If you do feel confident, you can follow these steps

  • find a hard-walled, puncture-proof container with a wide top and a secure lid
  • bring the container to the syringe so you don’t have to carry the syringe
  • place the container on ground next to syringe
  • use protective gloves or tongs and carefully pick up the syringe, avoiding the sharp end - do not recap the needle if the cap has been removed
  • place the syringe in the container, sharp end first
  • if available, secure the lid of the container
  • wash hands with running water and soap
  • place the container in a sharps disposal bin – call the Needle Clean Up Hotline on 1300 13 1340 to find your nearest disposal location.

Managing a needlestick injury

  • Stay calm
  • Allow the wound to bleed freely
  • Immediately wash the area with running water and soap, then rinse and pat dry
  • Cover with a band-aid or dry dressing
  • As soon as possible, contact your:
    • supervisor
    • local doctor
    • hospital.

For advice on needlestick injury

For advice on the need for HIV or Hepatitis testing, counselling and possible Hepatitis vaccination, contact the Needle Clean Up Hotline on 1300 13 1340.

Further information

Needle Clean Up Hotline, 1300 13 1340.