Mad River Union
McKINLEYVILLE – One of the telltale signs of America’s opioid crisis can be found scattered about the streets, parks and open spaces of McKinleyville – dirty syringes.
The hypodermic needles are so prevalent in town that the McKinleyville Community Services is getting involved in the matter.
The district office at 1656 Sutter Rd. will become a drop-off location for needles. But don’t just show up with dirty needles. There’s a process that’s going to be involved.
First, the district will offer two trainings for the public on Wednesday, May 30 at Azalea Hall, 1620 Pickett Rd. in McKinleyville. One session will be held from 4 to 5 p.m., another from 6 to 7 p.m.
The district will distribute portable sharps containers to the public. Community members would then fill up the containers and return them to the district office with the lids securely fastened, and with information on the date, location and quantity of sharps.
“Sharps brought in not adhering to these requirements will not be accepted,” stated a staff report to the board written by MCSD Manager Greg Orsini. “MCSD will provide approved sharps containers to the community by request only.”
MCSD staff members are also receiving training on proper disposal of the syringes, which they often find in district parks and open space areas.
“It’s important that our staff is safe, particularly with the amount of exposure they have,” Orsini told the MCSD board at its May 2 meeting. “We take this pretty serious and we want to remove as many of these from the environment as we possibly can.”
Orsini said there is already a demand for the service from McKinleyville cleanup volunteers.
“I’ve been approached by many members of the community that actively go out and pick sharps up and they are very supportive of this,” Orsini said.