Needle Panic In Forest Park

May Have Been A Medical Waste Dump

Several hundred hypodermic needles were found illegally dumped near the Richmond Hill section of Forest Park Thursday, July 31, the president of NYC Park Advocates confirmed to the Times Newsweekly this week.

Over 800 needles were found near Park Lane South and 112th Street, according to Geoffrey Croft. Parks Department workers alerted Croft after finding the needles, he said. The workers notified police at the 102nd Precinct, but no complaint report was made, according to authorities.

Law enforcement officials said that hypodermic needles are not alone illegal, and that found property, save for a gun or drugs, does not warrant a report or investigation.

Reportedly the needles had been used, according to Croft. They were found discarded under a guardrail in a black bag, he said.

He believes the discarded needles may have been medical waste, “judging by the amount,” he said. “I’ve certainly never heard of that amount needles being found.”

Used needles pose serious health risks, and by law must be disposed of properly as medical waste.

“The theory is that people were avoiding paying to dispose of the needles,” Croft said. “Of course I am extremely grateful they were found before something serious happened.”