SEATTLE -- Concerned residents voiced their frustration with drug users and even the Seattle Police Department Tuesday after finding a large dump of hypodermic needles, rubber gloves, drug baggies and trash near Northgate area homes.
Reddit User Stephenhammy posted pictures of the dump to a popular Seattle forum Tuesday night. Stephen said he came across the garbage around 10 a.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Burke Avenue and Northgate Way. He says it is just one example of a "big problem of people dumping garbage and using drugs in the area."
Q13 Fox Reporter Jeff Van Sant tracked down the reddit user. Stephen Hamilton has lived in the area for several months. He says this was the first time he has seen this kind of trash near his home. Stephen worried kids in the neighborhood might get curious.
"It just looks like garbage when you are far away and there's a shopping cart there and a pair of shoes. A kid might go over there and grab the shopping cart and accidentally get stuck with a needle," Stephen said.
Stephen said he reported the trash to 911 shortly after finding it, but was given a run-around by different authorities:
I called 911, who directed me to the non-emergency line for SPD (206)-625-5011, who directed me to the Hazards Information Line (206)-587-3292, who directed me to the King County Household Hazardous Waste Facility (206)-263-3050, who directed me to the City of Seattle Illegal Dumping Hotline (206)-684-7587—all to no avail.
By 7 p.m., the debris had still not been picked up.
"I'm at my wits end at this point," Stephen wrote on Reddit, asking for suggestions on how to get the trash removed.
As of 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, the trash was still in the area, Q13 FOX News confirmed. But a short time later, Seattle Public Works employees were spotted on the scene cleaning up the mess.
Workers told Q13 FOX News reporters that they try to prioritize cleanup of needle dumps, and this was one of the bigger piles they'd seen in a while. They said the best way to get a response is call the Illegal Dumping Hotline at 206-684-7587, or download the FIX IT app.
Other commenters took to Reddit to offer advice on how to get the needles picked up, and to sympathize with residents in the area who have allegedly seen drug use on the rise.
"Northgate has turned into junky central," one user wrote. "I've even seen people camping in the nearby graveyard."