The entrance to Esplanade Park in downtown Penticton. The City of Penticton has started a large cleanup initiative which has resulted in the eviction of campers, and collection of three large dumpster bins, four pickup trucks and two garbage trucks full of waste. (File Photo)

1,200 used syringes found during clean up of Penticton homeless camp

Three large dumpster bins, four pickup trucks and two garbage trucks were filled with waste

An ongoing process to clear the Esplanade Park area in downtown Penticton has resulted in the eviction of campers and the removal of a significant amount of waste.

Despite seven hours of work by 12 City of Penticton staff on Monday, Dec. 2, the process to clean up the area is still ongoing and will continue into next week.

According to the city, about 1,200 used syringes were also removed from the park area, in addition to couches, makeshift stairs, garbage, mattresses and more.

Look back: 74 needles found in Penticton homeless camp cleanup

Three large dumpster bins, four pickup trucks and two garbage trucks were filled with waste from Esplanade Park, an area which measures approximately one kilometre long and 150 metres wide.

Much of the waste found had been abandoned by individuals who are now taking refuge in the cold weather shelter.

This however, is nothing new. For years the park has been used as a place to reside by transient individuals during the warm months.

“The goal of yesterday’s activities was really just to get a lot of the public safety issues dealt with, because there will be snow coming, and it makes it a little bit more difficult to access,” said City of Penticton bylaw supervisor, Tina Siebert.

Siebert said this was a long time coming; removing sharps and other hazards from the area before the snow comes was made a priority.

“That [1,200 syringes] is quite a bit, it’s a significant amount that’s been used,” said Siebert. “And once there’s snow, you don’t want people stepping on them. People still like to walk through there, and take their dogs through there, and you don’t want anything to happen, so definitely getting those cleared out was a big success.”

Next week, crews will be focused on removing larger objects with the help of larger equipment. Deep in the woods are components of makeshift shelters that Siebert explained are hard to remove by hand.

The refuse that is cleared from the area will be brought down from the hillside to the beach area, where the fire department will begin a burning process to dispose of the trash. This burning process is projected to take place after winter.

In the new year, the city will be shifting into a fire mitigation initiative which aims to reduce hazardous materials from the area. During this time, the park will be closed to the public.

Look back: Penticton homeless campers devastated by park cleanup


@philmclachlan
phil.mclachlan@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Five Vancouver Island First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Nanaimo woman will buy ‘supersonic’ hair dryer after $500,000 lotto win

Debra Allen won $500,000 in July 28 Lotto Max draw

Cougar euthanized after attacking little dog in Qualicum area

Owner freed pet by whacking big cat, but dog didn’t survive the attack

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

Laid-off hotel workers begin hunger strike demanding job protection

Laid-off workers not sure what they’ll do when government support programs end

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Sand sculptor creates special eagle head in Qualicum Beach

Kaube fashions work behind Civic Centre

VicPD investigating two stabbings after confrontation in Centennial Square

Two men in hospital, one with life-threatening injuries

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Victoria woman attacked while taking photo of dog

Concerned woman pushed to the ground, had phone broken in Victoria park area

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Most Read