Police are still trying to work out the origins of the potted plant, which was in a container alongside the organ iStock

Police are examining what could be a human heart after it was found inside a box in a New York City bin. The grisly discovery was made by a 67-year-old man on Wednesday (5 October) as he was rummaging around inside it.

The incident took place at a housing project on the Lower East Side and, aside from the heart, the box also contained a potted plant. The man called police, who sent someone from the medical examiner's office to remove the organ.

The heart is being tested to determine whether it came from a human, according to the Guardian. A spokesman from the New York Police Department (NYPD) said it is possible that it could have come from an animal.

Police are still trying to find out where the plant came from.

In August an emergency medical services (EMS) crew found a "fresh" heart inside a plastic bag. It was discovered in the middle of a field near a petrol station in Norwalk, northern Ohio.

The medics called their dispatcher and threw the organ in a bin at first, but later retrieved it after being told that it could be a human heart. Just days after the discovery, a coroner said the heart appeared to be human, the Associated Press (AP) reported.