BRONX, New York (WABC) -- Amid an ongoing opioid epidemic, New York City officials have announced a new effort to reduce the number of syringes discarded in public parks.
Sixty collection boxes will be placed in 16 parks in the Bronx starting this week.
On average, the Parks Department says it collects roughly 5,000 syringes per week left behind by intravenous drug users in the Bronx.
The goal of the collection boxes is to prevent parkgoers, particularly children, from coming in contact with dirty needles.
"We find them under bushes, we find them sometimes near a playground," Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, Bronx Borough Commissioner, said. "We're trying to find ways to have them collected, deposited into the proper kiosk."
The boxes will be placed in various locations within the parks, including restrooms.
If successful, the program will be expanded throughout the five boroughs.
St. Mary's Park
Concrete Plant Park
Franz Sigel Park
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Collection boxes for used syringes placed in Bronx parks