Local biohazard cleanup company offering free needle pickup program

Local biohazard cleanup company offering free needle pickup program

KIRKLAND, Wash. — A biohazard cleanup company has started the first free needle pickup program because of community need.

A KIRO 7 photojournalist was working on a story near the Aurora Bridge Tuesday when she came across Aaron Lerner, who works at Washington Bio Services.

Lerner was scouting a problem spot along a pedestrian underpass. Crews painting the nearby bridge saw needles and called the company.

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Washington Bio Services usually cleans up death scenes, hoarding situations and other biohazards but has started a free needle pickup and community outreach program, called the Clean Community Project, to keep people safe from potentially dangerous used hypodermic needles and other drug-related paraphernalia.

“Anybody in the community can report a needle or any type of biohazardous material they see in a public space that we'll come pick up for free,” said Lerner. "We are also developing an application to where you can just take a picture of it and it'll automatically geotag it and report to us, and we'll provide an update when it's picked up."

Officials with the company say 10 percent of its revenue goes to help fund the Clean Community Project.  Though the service is free, people can donate through a GoFundMe account.

Those who wish to volunteer can do so in King County (the initial test county) after receiving free training and protective equipment so that residents in neighborhoods are able to safely pick up needles as needed immediately.