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City trains multiple employees in needle pickup



Water utility manager reports
workers seeing them all the time

The needles are seemingly turning up everywhere, and the La Crosse fire dept. is creating an army of volunteers to combat the problem.

“What our employees have been reporting across the city, is that more and more, they are seeing this problem show up every place,” La Crosse city water manager Mark Johnson said. “It’s pretty incredible. I hate to use the world epidemic, but it’s certainly become much more prevalent, where people are seeing these things all the time.”

It’s not just volunteers who are getting drafted to help the fire dept. pick up the random used hypodermic needles. Other city workers are now getting training and equipment to help. City workers. Park employees, also. There’s also a volunteer project training for needle disposal that should be ready by spring – when the snow melts and a winter’s worth of needles could turn up.

Even Johnson’s employees in the water dept. are getting trained. 

“They’re noticing, they’re sucking out needles from catch basins,” Johnson said. “We go and clean, what we call the wet-wells. Those lift stations, those materials, can include sharps.”








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