Steve Burns/WCBS 880

Long Island Beaches Reopen After Being Cleared Of Needles, Medical Waste

August 19, 2018 - 1:20 pm

LIDO BEACH, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- Beaches are reopening Sunday on the South Shore on Long Island, as officials say they’re collected all the medical waste that washed ashore over weekend.

Authorities are still trying to locate the source of the syringes and medical waste, which first were discovered on East Atlantic Beach.

“Our park officials here discovered a disturbing amount of medical waste had begun to wash up on other shores along our coastline,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillan.

Beaches were closed all along the island from Atlantic Beach to Point Lookout on Saturday.

On Sunday morning, Gillan stood on Lido Beach while holding a red bucket full of discarded syringes.

“We are delighted to announce that we decided the beaches can be reopened today, because they have been cleaned and we have not found any more medical waste washing up on the shoreline,” Gillan said.

She recommended that everyone continue to be diligent and keep an eye out for any leftover debris.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said investigators are now running some of the barcodes on the equipment to find the source.

“I don’t need a lot of people going out there and playing junior detective,” Ryder said. “If you see something, the lifeguards behind me are fully trained and know how to recover the item.”

Officials are also asking engineers to temporarily pause a dredging project right off the south shore in case it may have something to do with the medical waste washing ashore.