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Drug needles, syringes litter a Bronx park. This organization is taking action.

This Bronx organization is cleaning up a local park one syringe at a time
This Bronx organization is cleaning up a local park one syringe at a time 02:43

NEW YORK - A New York City organization is taking action to clean up drug needles and syringes littering a South Bronx park.

It's a story CBS New York's Bronx reporter Shosh Bedrosian first reported on one week ago.

Bedrosian first walked through St. Mary's Park with a concerned resident. They observed dozens of used syringes and needles in plain sight, often where children play.

"This is a medical waste dump right here in St. Mary's Park," said resident Carmen Santiago.

OnPoint NYC removes thousands of syringes from South Bronx park

Every weekday, OnPoint NYC's crew cleans up hazardous waste in the 35-acre park. They say with the constant drug use, it's hard to clean up everything.

The Parks Department tells CBS New York they have removed more than 6,000 syringes from St. Mary's Park so far in 2024. And on top of that, OnPoint NYC says they removed more than 2,300 syringes in the park in March.

Last week, Bedrosian observed city resources like Narcan kits attached to trees. OnPoint NYC says it's left there on purpose to provide resources to drug users.

"These are left in areas that are frequented by people who use substances and are at risk for an overdose," said Tom Blazsek.

OnPoint NYC says they provide wound care, hot meals and other services when they're in the park to help those struggling with addiction.

"I think it's important for harm reduction organizations who are in the Bronx to be funded well to do the work that they're doing," said Brittney Vargas-Estrella, the Director of Operations at OnPoint NYC.

OnPoint NYC says since November 2021, they've collected and discarded over 2.5 million units of hazardous waste and drug paraphernalia from New York City streets, parks and public spaces.

You can email Shosh with Bronx story ideas by CLICKING HERE

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