BREWER, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – Thousands of Mainers are fighting the grip of addiction on daily basis, but now the byproduct of their battle is showing up in the most public of places.
Greg Allen took to Facebook with a concerning sight he found while doing landscaping work in Walmart parking lots in Bangor and Brewer.
"It's really bad—especially if it's happening so badly in public and nobody is even noticing it,” Allen said. “I think it's worse than we think."
Allen said he has found well over 200 needles in his time working at the locations. His company is contracted with the stores to do landscaping work—replacing mulch with rocks around the parking lots. He said he believes addicts are disposing of their needles out of car windows and driving away.
He decided to take to Facebook with his findings, sharing a photo of needles in his shovel and warning friends to watch out in public places.
The post has been shared more than a thousand times with dozens of comments.
"That just makes me sick that people cannot be more respectful of others. Thank you for picking them up,” Natasha Fetch wrote.
"Wow! So scary! Thanks for sharing," Missy Currier wrote.
"Disgusting," Brianna Crane shared.
Bangor Police Officer Jason McAmbley said sharps containers carried in all of their cruisers and on many city vehicles are used by officers to pick up needles every day. He said it is a sign of a true problem.
"It's the sad reality unfortunately," McAmbley said.
He admits that it is a difficult thing to keep up with though.
"We're not everywhere. We can't be everywhere and people are going to throw their needles away. They realize that the content of those needles is illegal to possess and what they're doing is illegal,” he said.
McCambley said those who stumble upon needles can call their local police or fire department. They can come out and properly dispose of them. He also said, if you are comfortable, you can use gloves to place a needle in a plastic soda bottle and throw it out in your normal trash.
Allen hopes his Facebook post shares an important message to keep others safe.
"Think of the kids for crying out loud. They could be hurt off your ignorance,” Allen said.
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