Local parents concerned about improper needle disposal

Local organization pushes needle disposal safety

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The dangers of improperly disposed-of needles has been an ongoing issue in western, Massachusetts.

Parents are concerned about used needles being left on western Massachusetts parks and playgrounds. They worry their children could find one, and hurt themselves or even worse, contract a disease.

“I’m very concerned about it,” said Springfield resident Robert Poloski. “I don’t want to see that happen.”

Like Poloski, many parents visit parks and places where their kids can play freely in the summer months. They hope their children will be able to play without finding a needle lying on the ground.

The Tapestry Needle Exchange program in Northampton works to decrease the number of improperly disposed syringes in western Massachusetts.

The Director of HIV Health and Prevention Services, Liz Whynott said that a little education on this problem can go a long way.

“We should focus on how to provide basic education around safe syringe disposal,” said Whynott. “This is an indication that more education and services that make syringe disposal available needs to happen.”

Tapestry’s Needle Exchange Program provides free disposal of used syringes, and provides sterile needles. Whynott said having people become more aware about the dangers of improperly disposed needles will help address, and eventually solve this problem.