Many community members have been working to help clean up public and private properties throughout Cowlitz County. Used needles that are left behind are both a nuisance and a safety concern. Whether they're used to inject medicines like insulin or for illegal drugs, used needles can spread diseases like Hepatitis C through accidental needle pokes. The risk of contracting a disease from a needle-stick injury is very low, but for anyone who encounters used needles, their risk can be reduced even further by using the right equipment and procedures.
Cowlitz County Health & Human Services (CCHHS) provides free needle clean-up kits for businesses and community members who wish to clean up and safely dispose of used needles found on private or public property. These kits contain safety equipment and instructions about how to safely handle needles. Kits can be picked up at the main campus of CCHHS at 1952 9th Avenue in Longview during normal business hours.
Each kit contains a sharps disposal container, puncture-resistant gloves, safety glasses, tongs and simple instructions for safe collection. Full sharps containers should be taken to Waste Control in Kelso for appropriate disposal.
This program is intended for residents and business owners cleaning up used needles found in the community, not for businesses that generate used needles. Individuals using insulin shots or other similar uses should dispose of their used needles in sharps containers provided by local pharmacies or clinics. SYRINGE PICK-UP IN 4 EASY STEPS