Improperly discarded hypodermic needles pose a serious health risk to everyone in the community, but what steps can be taken to safely remove these items from city streets and parks?

In light of a recent event involving a New Bedford child being stuck with a dirty needle on a school playground, many are asking this same question.

New Bedford Police Detective Kory Kubik explained the best practices for a situation where a needle is found in public.

“You can call the police and we come down with a ‘sharps container’ then bring the syringe back to the station to properly be discarded,” said Kubik. “If you feel that the syringe is in a spot where someone may be injured by it such as a playground then you can carefully place the syringe in a soda bottle or any other similar container then hand it over to us when we arrive.”

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health also has a fact sheet with information regarding safe disposal of needles.

Communities across the Bay State and the country are seeing a rise in the number if improperly discarded needles in public areas, and many continue to implement services to keep all residents safe.

In Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh has implemented a Mobile Sharps Team that will be dispatched when notified by the public via the Mayor’s Hotline.

New Bedford also offers resources for obtaining a personal sharps container and holds annual drug and sharps drop-off days.