Workers at Whiting Beach in Sydney have to clean the beach every day to try to keep up with the amount of used needles and syringes washing up from the harbour.

The needles and syringes are dumped on the streets of Sydney by drug addicts and wash up on the beach in the affluent area.

Dozens of potentially infected syringes are removed by workers at Whiting Beach every day.

A sign placed at the top of the beach by Taronga Zoo warns beachgoers to wear shoes as walking barefoot on the sand is too risky.


The needles and syringes are thought to wash into stormwater from roads and other areas that move into stormwater systems, Clean Up Australia managing director Terrie-Ann Johnson told Daily Mail Australia.

"You could also have some backwash from overflowing sewage outlets – and of course we do have sewage discharges that affect the northern beaches."

"All you would need is a south, south-east breeze, or a wind predominantly out of the south to wash rubbish across the harbour," she said.

"Rubbish is very much tide and wind-borne."

However they get there, the reality is that the waste from drug addiction has turned the once idyllic bay into one of Australia's worst and most dangerous beaches.

It is particularly hazardous for children visiting as playing in the sand could lead to tiny hands touching these contaminated items.

Unwanted waste washing up on beaches and coastal areas isn't an Australia-only issue. Auckland Council recently announced it is looking at an extra $600m to clean up Waitemata Harbour, with the goal of reducing diluted sewage pouring into the harbour and on to the inner city beaches every time it rains.

Earlier this year, a Herald Focus and Weekend Herald investigation revealed that 1 million cubic metres of waste water and raw sewage - the equivalent of 400 Olympic swimming pools - is pouring into the harbour each year.

Auckland health authorities have also been looking into the potential link between sewage leaking into the harbour and the spike in stomach bugs that appears to occur after storms.