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

Former Shuswap resident’s book describes how child’s death transforms mother’s life

Destanne Norris to hold book signings in Vernon and Salmon Arm

Wanted Alberta man linked to Shuswap stabbing turns himself in

Terrance Alan Jones is charged with attempted murder and other offences in relation to an Aug. 16 incident in Blind Bay

Salmon Arm holding off on plastic shopping bag ban

Provincial support gives weight to municipal bylaws banning single-use plastic bags

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

Kelowna RCMP looking for man in relation to assault investigation

The police are not releasing further details of the investigation

Intersection disruptions for North Okanagan

All city-owned lights to be tested over next three weeks starting Monday, Oct. 5

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

New trial ordered for man found guilty of the 2010 murder of his wife in Arrow Lakes

Peter Beckett was found guilty murdering his wife 10 years ago

Metis pilot Teara Fraser profiled in new DC Comics graphic novel of women heroes

The Canadian pilot’s entry is titled: ‘Teara Fraser: Helping Others Soar’

Burnaby RCMP search for suspects after man racially abused, has coffee thrown on him

Police treating the incident as a hate crime and assault

Charges recommended for Mountie investigated in Kelowna shooting

Police watchdog recommends charges after shooting puts man in hospital

Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

Most Read