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

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Hwy 3 to close for avalanche control on Jan. 19

The road is expected to be closed from noon to 3 p.m.

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

FedEx distribution centre coming to Castlegar

Development permit for ground facility before council next week.

Kootenay teams heading for curling provincials

Team Buchy and Team Nichols won the senior playdowns.

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in lingerie store

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read