The longtime organizer of Valley Pride Day says she’s grateful for the record number of volunteers who turned out Saturday to help clean up the valley –but she’s also concerned about the number of medical needles that were found.
Donna Woodward of Fryeburg, Maine says more than 60 cubic yards of trash and recyclables were turned in in North Conway to be disposed of by Waste Management.
The most common items picked up were cigarettes, beer cans and fast food wrappers.
But Woodward says at least a half a dozen volunteers reported finding syringes used for injecting drugs – some near elementary schools.
Woodward says one person even found an unused syringe that may have contained a drug.
She says she will be discussing her concerns with the police departments in Fryeburg and Conway.
Conway Police Lt. Chris Perley has cautioned people in the past not to pick up needles they see on the ground but to call police and report them. He gives that advice so people can protect themselves from injury and police can investigate any illegal activity the needles may be connected to.
In this case Perley says “it’s unfortunate that this type of material is found in our community during such a positive event. (It is) a regular reminder of the ever present dangers illicit drugs pose to our public health, even here in the valley.”