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Local finds hypodermic needle during cleanup in Ballard

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on March 19th, 2013

A reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, emailed in to report that she found a hypodermic needle in Ballard during a garden clean up on the weekend. She was cleaning the garden of a condo building next to Scooter’s Restaurant on NW 58th Street near 24th Ave NW when she discovered the needle.

Upon finding the needle, our reader called the non-emergency SPD hotline at (206) 625- 5011 to ask how to dispose of it correctly. “The operator said to put it in a plastic bottle with a lid,” said our reader.

She also contacted newly appointed Ballard district Community Police Team officer Tim Wear who commented that there was “no supporting documentation of hardcore drug use in that area.” “Occasionally, we get drug use, no consistent dealing and sometimes I see the homeless population suffering from adult diabetes discard their syringes,” said Wear.

If you find a hypodermic needle in our area remember to follow the Seattle Public Utilities “Safety First” document steps to safely dispose of it:

  • Ensure you are wearing protective gloves.
  • Make sure the needle is pointing down into a hard plastic or metal container.
  • Container(s) should then be capped and sealed. Sharps containers are available from the Adopt A Street or Adopt a Drain Coordinator at (206) 684 – 7647 or email AdoptAStreet@seattle.gov or AdoptADrain@seattle.gov
  • Always put tape over the closed bottle cap and label container with warning: “DO NOT RECYCLE”.
  • Other sharp objects such as razor blades should also be discarded this way.
  • Dispose of containers at either the North Recycling and Disposal Station (N. 34th Street & Carr Place N)

It is important to remember that, according to City of Seattle guidelines, it is illegal to dispose of hypodermic needles, syringes or containerized sharps in the garbage, even if they are properly contained. Sharps must be taken to a disposal facility, such as the North Recycle and Disposal Station mentioned above. To find out more information call the station at (206) 684 – 7600.

According to another reader there is a sharps disposal container in the restroom at Ballard QFC (5700 24th Ave NW).

Local organization Central Ballard Residents Association’s Public Safety Committee can be contacted for advice on these matters. Readers can contact their committee chair Linda Weidman at eveedo@gmail.com.

SPD Officer Tim Wear can also be contacted with specific questions and other public safety concerns. He can be reached at Timothy.wear@seattle.gov

For more information about what to do if you find a hypodermic needle click here to read the entire Seattle Public Utilities document.

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