San Francisco

San Francisco Hands Out Many Syringes Littering Streets

The city of San Francisco hands out millions of syringes a year to drug users but has little or no controls over how they are later discarded and that's contributing to dirty streets that have become the source of hundreds of complaints.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Thursday that the city distributes an estimated 400,000 syringes a month through various programs aimed at reducing HIV and other health risks for drug users.

About 246,000 syringes are discarded through the city's 13 syringe access and disposal sites. But many of the more than 150,000 end up littering streets, parks and other spots.

San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell says 10 workers whose sole responsibility will be to clean up needles will start in June.

Syringes discarded in public places is a nationwide problem amid growing heroin use.

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Watch the entire series of this NBC Bay Area investigation:

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