High demand for free needle pick-up kits in Everett

EVERETT, Wash. -- Snohomish County health officials say that so many people wanted free kits to safely pick up and dispose of used syringes that they quickly ran out.

The Daily Herald reports that the initial 50 free needle clean-up kits were snapped up within days. The Snohomish Health District started a wait list with dozens of people on it and officials plan to make more kits available.

The health district began offering the free kits Sept. 13 for residents and business owners cleaning up needles found in the community. As heroin and opioid abuse has surged, used syringes have littered parks, playgrounds and sidewalks.

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Health officials say they expected interest in the kits but didn't expect it to be so immediate.

About 100 kits have been given out. The agency plans to distribute 1,000 kits total. Each kit costs just under $20. Donations by cities in the county help pay for the kits.

Anyone who comes across discarded needles they don’t want to pick up, public agencies in KingPierce and Snohomish Counties suggest calling for help.