There’s good news for intravenous drug abusers: there are free syringes washing up on the shores of New York City beaches.
This, of course, is bad news for the rest of us, who don’t necessarily want to get poked with a potentially deadly needle while taking a stroll on the beach.
Last month, an NBC 4 New York investigation revealed that a stretch of Rockaway Beach in Queens was littered with medical waste. In response, the Parks Department vowed to clean up the city’s beaches, which apparently didn’t happen — four people have suffered puncture wounds from syringes on city beaches in the last three weeks.
The latest poking happened yesterday, when a lifeguard on duty at Rockaway Beach stepped on a needle at Beach 139th Street.
The other three pokings happened at Cedar Grove, where on July 16, a 63-year-old woman stepped on a hypodermic needle, cutting her foot.
Two days earlier, on July 14, a 37-year-old man took a needle to the hand while (ahem) enjoying the beach.
Another poking happened on the Fourth of July, when a 40-year-old man fell victim to the medical filth washing up on the shores.
It’s unclear where, exactly, the waste is coming from. However, the recent spike in syringes washing up on beaches is reminiscent of the “Syringe Tide” problem in the late 1980s, when large amounts of medical waste and raw garbage was washing up on the shores of New Jersey. The source of that filth was identified as the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, which has since closed (for the most part — a small portion of the former landfill is now used as solid waste management plant).
On that note, we leave you with some Billy Joel: