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Hypodermic Needles Clog and Close Fletcher Free Bathrooms

Trash and used needles were the cause of a clog in the library toilets. Now there's a new bathroom policy.

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Plumbing has been a problem this month at Fletcher Free Library.

“The sewage had backed up at one point,” Director Rubi Simon said.

“And then it happened again. Probably almost three times in a period of a couple of weeks.”

When Simon and her staff dug deep to find the cause they discovered someone had been dumping trash into the toilets and something a little less innocent.

“Among the garbage is bundles of used hypodermic needles,” Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling said.

Simon notified the Burlington Police Department about the incident.

“There's no indication that drugs are being used there,” Chief Schirling said.

“Someone is using it as a trash can more than anything.”

That led the library to close its bathrooms for the last two weeks while they figured out how to keep it from happening again.

Going forward, visitors will need to go to the desk to get a key to unlock the bathroom. Simon says that will help staff monitor who's going in and out of the bathrooms.

Nearly 600 people visit the library each day and Simon doesn't want this incident ruin the library experience for everyone.

“We'd have to close the building down and that's obviously one of the things we don't want to happen,” Simon said.

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