Syringes on Our Streets: How to Report Illegal Drug Activity

As many of us have unfortunately seen, seeing syringes and needles on the streets and properties on Staten Island is becoming an all too frequent sight. It is happening in neighborhoods all across Staten Island, as well as across the country.

We all know heroin and other opioids have reached epidemic proportions on Staten Island and it is not in the shadows anymore. All our efforts to combat it must also be publicized. It will take each and every one of us to be committed to this fight. I will continue to try and help the best I can.

I have received many private messages and texts, and have also been tagged in several posts about needles found in public places. I have visited locations that were sent to me and removed some needles, and then transferred them to a sharps container to discard them.

NYC policy advises residents to call 311 if they observe a needle on public property. When you call 311, they send a request to the Department of Sanitation to collect the syringes from public streets and sidewalks. If the syringe is in a NYC Park, 311 sends the request to the Parks Department for removal. This removal process can take a few days. If the needles are on private property, such as a store parking lot or a homeowner’s lawn, the city will not collect the syringes. The property owner is responsible for removing syringes on their property.

First, remind kids never to pick up a needle or syringe!

If you see any syringes, please feel free to email me cecmike@verizon.net. If I can’t respond to the location to remove them, my friend Dennis McKeon and his outstanding Where to Turn Clean Team will do their best to come remove them info@where-to-turn.org.

If you are comfortable in removing a syringe yourself, please do so, following the procedure outlined here: wear gloves, and be careful to avoid the needle end. Place it in a sharps container– a hard plastic laundry detergent container can be used. Seal the puncture-proof container. Write “SHARPS” on the container and discard it in regular trash. (By labeling the container with the word “SHARPS,” NYC Sanitation is alerted to why the plastic/metal is in regular trash and it will avoid them erroneously issuing a summons for having recyclable in regular trash.)

TYSA guidelines

Important Links & Contact Numbers

To report discarded syringes and/or needles:

• Disposal procedures for sharps and medical waste
http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dsny/zerowaste/residents/household-medical-waste.shtml

• Report needles/syringes in public areas to 311 here:
http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/2570/syringe-on-sidewalk-or-street

• New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/9082.html

To report illegal drug activity:

• Richmond County District Attorney’s Office http://rcda.nyc.gov/initiaves/drughl.html

• RCDA Drug Hotline
(718) 876-5839

• 911 to report outdoor drug use or sale in progress or indoor drug use or sale involving weapons or a dispute

• 311 if you suspect indoor drug activity. This information will be forwarded to the NYPD for investigation.
www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/1567/drug-activity-complaint

• NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Organized Crime Control Bureau
1-888-374-DRUG (3784)

• NYC Crime Stoppers
1-800-577-TIPS (8477)
a056-crimestoppers.nyc.gov/crimestoppers/public/tip-form.cfm

Information to help build strong investigations and prosecutions:

• The location

• Names or descriptions of suspected dealer and/or buyer

• What type of vehicle, if any, is involved

• What type of drug product is being sold, if known

By Community Education Council 31 President Michael Reilly

Posted in Featured Articles


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  1. Escape Room – Kids edition

    December 14
    December 14, 2017  |  12:00 am - 11:59 pm
    Mariners Harbor Library
    Follow clues and solve riddles to escape the room before the time runs out! Limited space, please call for the exact time and to register in advance.
  2. Greenbelt Peepers

    December 14 @ 9:45 am
    December 14, 2017  |  9:45 am - 9:45 am
    Greenbelt Nature Center
    Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Through hands-on activities, crafts, and stories, two year-olds and their caregivers will become familiar with the sights and sounds of the forest. Space is limited. Registration required. Fee: $3 per child/Free for Greenbelt Conservancy
  3. Toddler/Preschool Story Time

    December 14 @ 10:30 am - 11:15 am
    December 14, 2017  |  10:30 am - 11:15 am
    St. George Library
    Songs, rhymes, picture book stories, & a craft activity are all part of this story time. Registration required.
  4. Tot’s Time Plus

    December 14 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
    December 14, 2017  |  11:00 am - 1:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Your pre-schooler will create artwork, sing along and listen to stories.
  5. Greenbelt Tree Tots

    December 14 @ 11:00 am
    December 14, 2017  |  11:00 am - 11:00 am
    Greenbelt Nature Center
    Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Through hands-on activities, crafts, and stories, three and four year-olds and their caregivers will become familiar with the sights and sounds of the forest. Space is limited. Registration required. Fee: $3 per child/Free for
  6. Baby Storytime: Baby & Me

    December 14 @ 11:00 am
    December 14, 2017  |  11:00 am - 11:00 am
    Tottenville Library
    Songs, rhymes, stories and playtime for infants ages 0-18 months along with a parent or caregiver. Meet other babies in the neighborhood!
  7. Bouncing Babies

    December 14 @ 11:15 am
    December 14, 2017  |  11:15 am - 11:15 am
    West New Brighton Library
    Come for playtime, stories and songs for babies and their caregivers.
  8. Staten Island Babywearers

    December 14 @ 12:00 pm
    December 14, 2017  |  12:00 pm - 12:00 pm
    West New Brighton Library
    Want to learn the skills to being a good babywearer? Join us as we host Staten Island’s first peer to peer babywearing group, led by a certified babywearing educator! For parents and caregivers. Feel free to bring your babies!
  9. Baby/Toddler Social

    December 14 @ 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
    December 14, 2017  |  12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
    St. George Library
    Playground is too cold or it’s rainy? Do you and your baby need to get out of the house? Come to the library! A safe, indoor space for babies 0-23 months and their caregivers to play and socialize. Baby toys
  10. Paint Day

    December 14 @ 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
    December 14, 2017  |  1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Plenty of time for experimenting with paints and other media.