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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Community outbreak of COVID-19 confirmed on Haida Gwaii

Contact tracing has confirmed a total of 13 cases, according to Northern Health

Burns Lake couple escapes the Econo Lodge Fire in time

Escapes unharmed but loses their belongings

Travelling nuns spark social media panic in Burns Lake

The six Catholic nuns with Alberta plates were seen driving around from Prince Rupert to Burns Lake

Betty Stewart, the champion for Burns Lake’s only accessible playground

The woman who considers herself as just a coordinator while the community recognizes her efforts

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Most Read