MOUNT Gambier residents are urged to report instances of syringes being found in public places as a matter of safety.
City Council health workers have responded to five such cases in the past 12 months, with several more unreported instances believed to have been shared across social media.
In a bid to stamp out incorrect disposal of used sharps, council operates a community disposal program at no charge, allowing needles, syringes and lancets to be safely disposed of.
A number of public toilets across the city are also equipped with approved disposal containers.
Council environmental health officer Heather Reilly encouraged residents not to touch any sharps found in a public area and to call council immediately.
“This way a response can occur and trained personnel are able to come out and clear it away,” Ms Reilly said.
The Department of Health and Wellbeing said people who discover a discarded syringe in a public area could also call the Needle Clean Up Hotline.
“People can dispose of syringes at various locations in the community including most chemists and community health services,” a spokesperson said.
People are encouraged not to handle the syringe and not to break off, bend or cover the sharp end.
If an injury is sustained from a discarded syringe, let the wound bleed freely and immediately wash the area with running water and soap then rinse and pat dry.
Cover the wound with a band aid or dressing and contact the local hospital.