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. Cooking Camp

    August 16
    August 16, 2017  |  12:00 am - 11:59 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Create different recipes and try delicious foods each day. Create a take home cookbook. New recipes & projects! *Additional materials fee: $15 1/2 day campers/$25 full day campers for the week. **Campers must have reached 4th birthday by 1st day
  2. Young Naturalists

    August 16 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
    August 16, 2017  |  10:00 am - 12:00 pm
    The Interpretive Center
    Connect with nature! We will explore a new topic each week and write about it in our nature journals.
  3. Toddler Time

    August 16 @ 11:00 am
    August 16, 2017  |  11:00 am - 11:00 am
    Mariners Harbor Library
    Geared toward early Literacy and advancement of the learning abilities of children through age appropriate books, songs, and finger plays.
  4. Build It: Ultimate Little Engineer Challenges

    August 16 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
    August 16, 2017  |  1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
    St. George Library
    Get ready to have fun and meet specific challenges while using a variety of building materials (LEGOS, wood dowels, etc.)! Children will create designs around specific scenarios or situations. Registration required via phone 718-442-8560 or in person.
  5. Don’t Hate, Pollinate!

    August 16 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
    August 16, 2017  |  1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
    Clay Pit Ponds
  6. Art Studio

    August 16 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    August 16, 2017  |  1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
  7. Forest Stewards: Volunteer a hand for the land!

    August 16 @ 1:30 pm
    August 16, 2017  |  1:30 pm - 1:30 pm
    Greenbelt Nature Center
    Lend a hand and care for the land during the growing season. Activities may include cutting back overgrown and invasive vegetation, watering plants, spreading wood chips, and more. Community service credit available. Bring water and a snack; recommended for adults
  8. Talent Show Party

    August 16 @ 2:00 pm
    August 16, 2017  |  2:00 pm - 2:00 pm
    Richmondtown Library
    Come perform at the library. Registration required.
  9. Science Time

    August 16 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    August 16, 2017  |  2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Join us for this daily program on problem solving, inquiry and creative thinking. Activities include meetings animals from our Bugs exhibit, playing with solar cars, solving puzzle and games or building structures. Time is subject to change each day
  10. Wacky Wednesdays on Richmond Road

    August 16 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    August 16, 2017  |  2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    Richmond Road
    Wacky Wednesdays are coming to Richmond Road! Sponsored by the Richmond Road Merchants Association and the Richmond County Savings Foundation, there will be FREE children’s activities along Richmond Road. Entertainment takes place between 1560 and 1667 Richmond Rd. August 9