Mayor Walsh deploys crews to clear Boston's public spaces of hazardous, discarded needles
June 23, 2015
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Health and Human Services and the Boston Public Health Commission in announcing the Mobile Sharps Collection Team (MSCT), a new program, dispatching a crew to properly handle loose, sharp needles. In addition, Citizens Connect now has this new feature, which allows citizens to file reports through their mobile app.
“Public spaces should be safe for the people of Boston and visitors, and loose needles are a risk to anyone who is exposed,” said Mayor Walsh. “Throughout the many public meetings I’ve hosted, I’ve heard, loud and clear, the concerns of our residents. I commend the Departments of Innovation and Technology, Health and Human Services, Civic Engagement, Neighborhood Services and the Boston Public Health Commission for their collaborative efforts in launching this new initiative. This new, permanent program will make positive change throughout our neighborhoods.”
Since early June, MSCT has collected over 2,000 needles. Residents can now report needles through Citizens Connect or the Mayor's 24-Hour Hotline, in which case the Mobile Sharps Collection Team will be dispatched to properly take care of the issue. The MSCT will also serve as an integral part of the city’s substance abuse outreach team and will help to identify areas where there are opportunities to engage with active users and community residents about substance abuse-related concerns.
When reporting a needle in a public area it is important to note specific details, pertaining to landmarks and other markers to best facilitate the fastest possible response. During slow reporting times, MSCT will travel consistently throughout Boston’s neighborhoods, collecting any needles they can find.
For information on how to safely dispose of needles and/or syringes, visit: http://www.bphc.org/whatwedo/Addiction-Services/services-for-active-users/Pages/Safe-Needle-and-Syringe-Disposal.aspx. For more information on how to download Citizens Connect, visit: http://www.cityofboston.gov/doit/apps/citizensconnect.asp. To contact Mayor Walsh's 24-Hour Hotline, call: 617-635-4500.