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What regulations surround provisions for syringe disposal?

Q: I represent an organisation that works in the public sector. Are there standards, legislation and/or protocols to follow regarding the possibility of needing to provide syringe disposal in our public toilets for our potential clients and clients who may need to dispose of a syringe?

A: The issue of disposal of syringes is only covered by work health and safety laws in so far as it relates to first aid. See, for example, the First Aid Code of Practice published by Safe Work Australia.

You should seek specific advice from your local environmental protection agency, which has jurisdiction on the collection and removal of waste, including needles and syringes. In some cases, certain organisations – for example, public hospitals – have specific obligations imposed on them regarding disposal of syringes.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to First aid for current advice.

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