Drug addicts were spotted Tuesday morning in a Bronx park that was full of used needles, a day after the city announced it will install dozens of syringe disposal kiosks in green spaces throughout the district.
being injected under a tree at St. Mary's Park in Mott Haven, while another man was passed out on the ground.
Near a hill, 20 needles, drug paraphernalia, an empty box for insulin syringes and dozens of red syringe caps and blue pants, were found scattered.
About 100 feet away, park workers were observed cleaning garbage and tending the lawn near the playground.
On Monday, the Parks Department said its staff picked up an astonishing 5,000 used needles each week in the parks of the Bronx.
Sixty syringe disposal kiosks will be installed in 16 of the most impacted parks in the district, including St. Mary's, the largest green space in the South Bronx. Authorities said that
Tremont Park and Crotona Park will also be among the parks that will receive the closed kiosks.
George Hill, 49, who was sitting on a bench at St. Mary's Tuesday, said he often sees heroin users in the park.
"I see a lot of them," Hill said, adding that drug users often faint in the green space.
"It's a problem … It's dangerous for children, there's a school [across the street]."
Councilman Rafael Salamanca (D-Bronx) said that despite being aware of the drug epidemic plaguing his area, he was "stunned" by the amount of used needles that were thrown into the parks of the Bronx.
"My district, specifically 149th Street and 3rd Avenue, is ground zero for the use of opiates in the South Bronx and my community has been fighting this for decades.We have a high concentration of methadone clinics and invaluable programs in the area that offer harm reduction services. (19659003) "Knowing this, I am surprised by the 5,000 needles found weekly in Bronx parks and public health and safety concerns are raised. I have requested a meeting with the Parks Department to review their findings and I look forward to hearing your process. "