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Hazardous waste disposal - syringes

Advice about what to do about used and discarded needles, syringes and other medical sharps and drug-related items.

If you find needles, syringes and other drug-related items discarded in your local environment, please report it to us so we can arrange for their removal.

Do not place needles, syringes or any other kind of clinical waste in your rubbish or recycling bins, even if they are in a sharps box.


Please note for all needles and syringes used in the treatment of medical conditions, you should contact your doctor or local pharmacy to arrange safe disposal. For needles and syringes used for agricultural purposes, please consult your vet or drug supplier for safe disposal options.

We advise members of the public not to pick up needles, unless it poses an immediate danger to you or others. 


There are a number of hazards associated with handling these items and if discovered you should report them in order to have the items safely removed and disposed of.

  • if the items are found on public land during normal working hours (Monday to Friday), or you are unsure who owns the property/land where the items have been left, please contact the Dorset Waste Partnership
  • if the items are found on public land outside of normal working hours (such as evenings, weekends or bank holidays), please contact your local borough or district council's emergency out of hours number, which can be found in the table below:-
CouncilEmergency out of hours number
Christchurch Borough Council01202 795000
East Dorset District Council01202 795096
North Dorset District Council07774 972063
Purbeck District Council01929 556561
West Dorset District Council01305 251010
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council01305 838000


  • if the items are discovered on private property (such as an abandoned house, or in a garden, playing field etc.) you should contact the landowner.

Please note that any needles, or syringes, etc. found on educational premises (e.g. schools, nurseries, etc.) during working hours should be reported immediately to staff on the premises.

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