Syringe and Sharps Disposal
What are sharps?
Sharps are devices used to penetrate the skin. In diabetes management these include:
• finger pricking device (lancet)
• insulin syringes
• needles used on insulin pens
Why should a sharps container be used?
An approved sharps container should be used to protect yourself, your family and others from injury or the spread of infectious diseases such as Hepatitis.
What happens if sharps are not disposed of correctly?
It is illegal to put sharps into your household rubbish because:
• your family is at risk when handling the rubbish
• a council worker might be injured and if so the council has the right to refuse rubbish collection
• the heavy earth moving equipment used at land fill sites can rupture containers, exposing needles and sharps. Council workers and members of the public are then in danger of injury.
What is the correct way to dispose of sharps?
In an approved sharps container. These containers:
• are clearly labelled sharps
• display the Bio-Hazard symbol
• are yellow in colour and made of an durable rigid plastic
• have one entry port and cannot be removed
Where can I purchase sharps containers and dispose of full containers?
Sharps disposal containers are available for purchase from the Council. Once filled to the level indicated, the container should be sealed.
Council offers a free sharps disposal service through your Local Government Centre (6 Dutton Road, Mount Barker Homemaker Centre) during normal business hours (9.00am - 5.00pm). Please note: This is self service and staff will direct you. Businesses that generate sharps waste or hazardous biological waste should arrange for safe storage and disposal as part of their own business practice in accordance with occupational and environmental safety standards.