Junkies have been dumping some 5,000 used needles a week in parks across the Bronx — prompting desperate city officials to install dozens of syringe-disposal kiosks in hopes of cleaning up the dangerous mess.
There has been a dramatic gain in the number of syringes found in parks in the Bronx in recent years because of the ongoing opioid epidemic, city Health Department officials say.
The 60 kiosks, which will be locked trash boxes placed in the hardest-hit Bronx parks, are part of a $60 million HealingNYC program to combat the drug plague, announced Monday.
The plan will also include outreach from needle-exchange programs to users who shoot up in parks.
“Everyone deserves parks that are safe and clean,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. “Our goal is to protect parkgoers and to offer a helping hand to those struggling with addiction.”
He added that the program will be modeled after similar initiatives in Seattle and Vancouver, Canada.
Among the 16 impacted parks is Saint Mary’s in Mott Haven — the largest park in the South Bronx — as well as Tremont Park and Crotona Park.
City Health Department officials couldn’t say how many needles a typical addict runs through per day, since it varies by level of addiction, as well as the type and amount of drug injected.