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 [email protected] 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 [email protected]
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.)
Important Links & Contact Numbers
To report discarded syringes and/or needles:
• Disposal procedures for sharps and medical waste
• Report needles/syringes in public areas to 311 here:
• New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
To report illegal drug activity:
• Richmond County District Attorney’s Office http://rcda.nyc.gov/initiaves/drughl.html
• RCDA Drug Hotline
• 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.
• NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Organized Crime Control Bureau
• NYC Crime Stoppers
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