Hyde Park man cleaning up used, dirty needles from neighborhood

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A friendly neighbor in Hyde Park is taking matters into his own hands when it comes to cleaning up his neighborhood.

He's tired of seeing dirty needles. so he's spending his own time and money to clean up the problem.

“I would say it's about the same that it`s always been, except that I`m picking them up now,” said 26-year-old Corey Schaadt, who has lived in the Hyde Park neighborhood for almost three years.

FOX4's Melissa Stern introduced you to him last December when he complained about dirty needles on the street and a vacant lot near his home.

Months later, he`s now taken it upon himself to pick up that trash.

“Because no one else was, and I know it`s a frequent spot for users and I know that it`s an open lot. There are kids in this neighborhood, and when I was a kid, I would run around in a lot like this, so I know other kids will,” Schaadt said.

He's also worried about his dog, Bess.

“I don`t know if they can contract what`s on the needles, but I`m not going to risk that. and she might pick something up in her mouth, and it`s just not worth it to me. Who knows what's in or on the needles,” Schaadt said.

The Salvation Army owns the lot and said the Broadway Community Improvement District patrols the neighborhood.

“There are private property signs all over it, which they put up relatively recently, and I know that the Broadway Patrol, the guys on bikes with blue shirts, come and try to keep people out of it. But you can`t keep an eye on it all the time, and they`re really sneaky,” Schaadt added.

A spokesman for the Salvation Army said they're dedicated to working with neighbors to keep the lot clean and said they do everything they can to keep drug users away and keep it clean. But even Schaadt admits the users come late at night or early morning.

“Getting them out of my neighborhood is not my main objective. It`s just getting the needles not on the ground,” he said.

That`s why Schaadt bought a Sharps Disposal container on Amazon last week.

“They're everywhere. We walked here yesterday, just around these blocks, and found multiple, paraphernalia, everything everywhere. It`s just dangerous. There`s no point in not picking them up if I can do it safely and dispose of them safely,” he said.

Schaadt wears gloves and cleans it up himself but is planning on attaching the box to the fence, so drug users can dispose of their own needles.

“The volume of people throwing needles on the ground is too high to be able to keep up with it,” Schaadt said.