'I was just horrified': Skagit County mom starts drug-needle cleanup

Skagit County mom instigates drug-needle cleanup (KOMO Photo)

SKAGIT COUNTY--Skagit County is fighting against drug needles popping up everywhere: parks, bus stops and on trails.

Starting Wednesday, Skagit County Public Health officials will start giving out free needle cleanup kits in a pilot program.

The pilot program started when a local mom fed up with the problem starting making the kits. Kara Schubert said she got fed up with the problem after two boys in a Burlington park got poked with a drug needle.

"I was just horrified and I felt for the mom and I was outraged,” said Schubert.

A mom herself, Schubert said she saw the drug problem living in Snohomish County, then it followed her when she moved to Skagit County.

"I got to a point where I wasn't taking them to parks anymore,” said Schubert. “We weren't letting them play outside anymore because didn't know what we were going to find."

She and others urged Skagit County public health officials to start handing out needle cleanup kits.

On Wednesday, the county will kick off a pilot program with 100 kits containing sharps containers, gloves, safety glasses and tongs.

Kara also made 120 kits in her living room with money she raised from donations on GoFundMe.com and a bake sale. She'll give them out to a local non-profit and around her community.

"Kids should be able to play at playgrounds, you should be able to take your dog for a walk,” said Schubert. “But it’s going to take all of us to be proactive."

After the sharps containers are full, officials are asking people to bring them back to the health department in Mount Vernon for disposal.

Officials want to run the pilot program for about six months to see if it's effective.

Snohomish and Whatcom counties have similar needle cleanup kit programs.

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