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. Stargazing in Great Kills

    April 21 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
    April 21, 2018  |  8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
    Great Kills Park
    Spring Astronomy Day. Go stargazing with the S.I. Amateur Astronomer’s Association. Inclement weather will cancel this program.
  2. NYRR Open Run

    April 22 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
    April 22, 2018  |  9:00 am - 10:00 am
    Conference House Park
    Participants are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes before the start of the run and to leave their valuables at home – bag check is not provided. No need to do anything before the run, just show up. Open to all
  3. St. George Day

    April 22 @ 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
    April 22, 2018  |  11:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Tompkinsville Park
    Earth Day & Arts Festival celebrating community….and dragons! This free, North Shore event will include kids’ activities, family oriented fun, outdoor art installations, live music, street performance, crafts, and Earth Day demonstrations. Click here to learn more!
  4. Earth Day: Citizen Science Fair at Greenbelt Nature Center

    April 22 @ 11:00 am
    April 22, 2018  |  11:00 am - 11:00 am
    Greenbelt Nature Center
    Citizen Science projects are programs in which ordinary citizens volunteer to work to help scientists to answer real-world questions. Join us for an informative session to find out what projects are happening locally, and learn how you can become a
  5. Earth Day at the Zoo

    April 22 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    April 22, 2018  |  12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    Staten Island Zoo
    Explore the different ecosystems that make up our amazing planet with hands-on education stations, eco-crafts throughout the zoo, and scheduled tours of our rainforest, African savannah, North American Aviary and desert habitats. Meet animals from all over the world and
  6. Weekend Art Studio

    April 22 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    April 22, 2018  |  1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
  7. Earth Day: Senses Walk

    April 22 @ 1:00 pm
    April 22, 2018  |  1:00 pm - 1:00 pm
    Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex
    Discover nature by using your senses with the Rangers on this nature walk.
  8. Historic Richmond Town’s Sensory Sundays

    April 22 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
    April 22, 2018  |  1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
    Historic Richmond Town
    This new program broadens the site’s accessibility and enhances the visitor experience for people on the Autism Spectrum. The Grace Foundation is partnering with HRT’s historical interpreters as co-tour leaders for this special series of sensory tours.
  9. Joys of Composting

    April 22 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    April 22, 2018  |  2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Don’t toss out your old food scraps! Discover how our planet benefits from composting in this special Earth Day workshop. Sponsored by Con Edison At 2pm & 3pm
  10. Richmond County Orchestra Celebrates Motown

    April 22 @ 3:00 pm
    April 22, 2018  |  3:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    The Great Hall at Snug Harbor
    Richmond County Orchestra (RCO) is celebrating Motown music with a Side-By-Side production with Curtis High School band members on Sunday, April 22 at 3 p.m. at the Music Hall at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. RCO, in collaboration