Skagit County Launches Pilot Needle Pickup Program

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Skagit County, WA  – Many folks in Skagit County have raised concerns about unsafe needles they have found  discarded along roadways and trails  while walking, hiking or jogging around Skagit County.

Used Needles can pose a public health hazard and many people in Skagit County want to help do something about it.

In response to the publics request, Skagit County Public Health is testing out a pilot “Needle Pickup Program” starting on October 10th, 2018.

According to a press release from Bronlea Mishler, as part of the pilot program, over the next six months, Public Health will hand out as many as 100 needle pickup kits to local residents at their downtown office located at 700 S. Second Street in Mount Vernon.

Mishler wrote, The free Needle Pickup Kits will include safety goggles, gloves, a needle pickup tool and a sharps container. When the sharps container is full, they can return the kit to Public Health for disposal at no cost.

County crews currently pick up discarded needles along county right of way or on county property. The new needle kits are designed for local community members who want to clean up their communities. Public Health staff encourage anyone who uses the kits to take proper precautions and use extreme care to avoid direct contact with the discarded needles.

“We’re not going to solve the opioid crisis overnight, but we can take simple steps to protect our kids and keep our communities healthy,” said Public Health Director Jennifer Johnson. “Depending on the results of this pilot program, we’ll consider whether we expand the program or form ongoing partnerships with local community groups or agencies.”

Find more information about the new pilot program online at http://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HumanServices/opioids.htm.

For questions or more details about the program, please contact Joanne Lynn at 360-416-1559 or joannel@co.skagit.wa.us.

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