Seattle program collects 32,000 hypodermic needles

SEATTLE  — A collection program in Seattle brought in more than 32,000 hypodermic needles in its first 15 months.

The Seattle Times reports that most of the needles were disposed of in nine collection boxes around the city, but more than 5,300 were collected and removed from public property by hand after people filed complaints about them. Residents can file complaints by phone, online or through the city's Find It, Fix It app.

Seattle Public Utilities runs the Sharps Collection Pilot Program, which city officials believe is unique in the way it combines disposal boxes and syringe-complaint response.

City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who pushed for the pilot program, says much work remains to be done to connect drug users to treatment.

The program is budgeted through December 2018.