Sharps Education and Disposal

Council's Community Sharps Management Policy aims to maintain high standards of workplace safety, public health and safety, and environmental management through effective management of the disposal of community sharps. This is achieved by:

  • Encouraging broad community participation in the safe disposal of community sharps by providing and promoting accessible community sharps disposal options
  • Reducing the potential for needle stick injuries to occur by providing information, training, personal protective equipment and responsive management.
  • To provide mechanisms for the effective management of sharps in the community to maximise appropriate community sharps disposal.

Community Sharps is a term used to define sharps that have been generated by non-clinical activities in the home or public facilities. This generally includes needles, syringes and lancets used by patients with diabetes or other medical conditions or injecting drug users. Community Sharps initiatives in Wagga Wagga are supported by Wagga Wagga City Council, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Kurrajong Recyclers, the Division of General Practice & Primary Health and the Greater Southern Area Health Service.

Be Sharps Smart!

Join Needles and friends in an interactive session to learn what it takes to Be Sharps Smart! Wagga Wagga City Council has embarked on an innovative approach to engage, educate and help children learn about sharps. The book below has been published to educate children in identifying sharps and its dangers in open public spaces, helping children and the community understand the action that needs to be taken when sharps are spotted. Children learn to step back and tell an adult straight away. The community is also educated on the processes to follow should they observe or be notified of sharps in public spaces.

To access Council's informative Be Sharps Smart online book, click the link: https://issuu.com/riverinaregionallibrary8/docs/be_sharp_smart

http://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/story/5275643/needles-the-echidna-teaches-children-about-sharps-safety-video/

For more information about sharps usage and disposal, check out the information below:

If you inject at home you should:

  • Obtain a sharps or other appropriate container (from a needle & syringe outlet) to hold your used material; and
  • When your container is full, secure the lid and deliver it to a needle & syringe outlet, or a Sharps Drop-Off Point.
  • Store container out of reach of children.
  • Do not dispose of sharps or sharps containers into general waste or recycling bins because of the high risk of needlestick injury to workers and other members of the public.

If you inject away from home you should:

  • Place all your injecting material in a sharps or other appropriate container and deliver it to a needle & syringe outlet or a Sharps Drop-Off Point or
  • Place all your injecting material in a sharps bin/chute in a public toilet or any other place that has a sharps bin.

What can local businesses do?

Business operators can facilitate safe disposal and safeguard the health of employees, customers and waste workers by:

  • Installing community sharps disposal bins in public toilets and restrooms and
  • Arranging for a waste contractor licensed to safely remove and transport sharps waste.

What to do if you find sharps in a public place:

If you find a needle or syringe in a public space, please call Council or the Needle Clean up Hotline on 1800 633 353 to have the items safely removed. Most importantly do not attempt to pick up the needle or syringe.

Contacts for sharps pick up:

Business Phone number
Council's Environment & Community Services 1300 292 442
National Needle Clean up Hotline 1800 633 353

If you get a needlestick injury:

As soon as possible wash the area with soap and running water. Cover with a sterile dressing. Seek urgent medical attention at GP or go immediately to the Emergency Department of Wagga Wagga Base Hospital.

Sharps drop-off points

To ensure sharps are correctly and safely disposed of in the community, a close partnership with local pharmacies in Wagga Wagga is established. As part of Council's Sharps Management Program, community sharps containers are located at local pharmacies, where they are kept in a secure location for customer use. This type of disposal service is generally convenient for customers who obtain their injecting equipment from the pharmacy.

Council has introduced two new community sharps disposal bins, at Wilks Park and Tolland Community Centre. These bins allow for the safe disposal of sharps that have been generated by non-clinical activities in the home or public facilities, such as needles, syringes and lancets used by patients with diabetes or other medical conditions or injecting drug users

Remember, if you find sharps in public spaces, don’t touch it and call Council on 1300 292 442 or the NSW Needle Clean-Up Hotline on 1800 633 353. A trained person will collect and safely dispose the sharps.

There are now 19 drop-off points located across the community, the following locations are available should you need to dispose of sharps or sharps containers in the Wagga Wagga area, please find  a list of participating locations below.

BusinessLocation

Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital

Edward Street

Blooms The Chemist

Shop 13, Sturt Mall

Blooms The Chemist

Shop 33, Marketplace

Cincotta Chemist

157-159 Baylis Street

Wagga Wagga Pharmacy

46-50 Baylis Street

Northside Pharmacy

12 Gurwood Street

Michael O'Reilly Pharmacy

67 Baylis Street

Kooringal Pharmacy

Shop 25,  Kooringal Mall

*Ashmont Inn Car Park

55 - 57 Tobruk Street

Capital Chemist - Turvey Park

Shop 3, Turvey Tops Mall

Capital Chemist - Lake Albert

Shop 7, Lake Village Shopping Centre

Capital Pharmacy - Tolland

Shop 7,  Tolland Shopping Centre

Wagga Discount  Pharmacy

Shop 6, Forest Hill Shoppping Centre

Estella Pharmacy

31 Avocet Drive, Estella

Gregadoo Waste Management Centre

132 Ashfords Road, Gregadoo

South City Pharmacy Shop 5/1 Tanda Place, Glenfield Park
Community Health Docker Street
*Chambers Park Carpark Tolland Community Centre
41 Bruce Street, Tolland
*Wilks Park Hampden Avenue, North Wagga

*24hr access

To find a sharps disposal facility or a provider of sharps containers near you, visit the Safe Sharps website www.safesharps.org.au to use the interactive map or download the smart phone app. You can also visit The National Public Toilet Map to search for those public toilets which include sharps disposal facilities.