Medical waste

Needles, syringes and medicines

Medical waste, including needles and unused medicines, needs to be disposed of carefully to ensure that no harm is caused to waste collectors, sorters and landfill workers. 

What is medical waste?

There are two types of medical waste:

  • Medical sharps: Needles, syringes, pipettes and lancets used in medical treatment. These must not be placed in residential, commercial or public bins, as there is a risk of puncture injury and infection to waste collection workers. Find out how to dispose of medical sharps below.
  • Medicines: Unwanted or out-of-date medicines. These can have a negative effect on the environment if they are placed into the domestic waste stream

How do I dispose of medical sharps?

Home-injecting patients should buy a proper, puncture-resistant 'sharps' container. You can buy these containers from Diabetes NSW directly, or through your local pharmacy.

Randwick City Council runs a FREE community sharps disposal program to provide residents with a safe disposal service. Disposal is available at the following pharmacies:

  • Blooms The Chemist - Kingsford
    512-514 Anzac Parade, Kingsford NSW 2032
    Phone: 02 9663 3900
  • Bloom's Chemist Coogee
    202 Coogee Bay Road, Coogee NSW 2034
    Phone: 02 9665 5158
  • Maroubra Pharmacy
    203 Maroubra Road, Maroubra Junction NSW 2035
    Phone: 02 9349 3344
  • Priceline Pharmacy Maroubra
    Shop 14, 737 Anzac Parade, Pacific Square Shopping Centre
    Maroubra Junction NSW 2035
    Phone: 02 9349 4168
  • Walsh's Village Pharmacy
    Shop 3/5-6 Meagher Ave, Maroubra NSW 2035
    Phone: 02 9311 0088

How do I dispose of unwanted medicine?

Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) is an Australian not-for-profit company that has established a FREE service to collect unwanted or out-of-date medicines. Simply take your medicines to any local pharmacy and the RUM program will dispose of them. No medicines are reused or recycled.

Can I recycle medical waste?

No medical waste cannot be recycled and should be disposed off appropriately. Peritoneal dialysis FLUID BAGS & TUBING SETS - these materials are not suitable to be placed in council recycling services, regardless of whether they have been in direct contact with bodily waste fluids. Bags should be drained in the toilet, and bags and tubing sets wrapped and disposed of as household rubbish.

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