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)

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

Robert’s column
Robert Barron column: New hospital shouldn’t charge for parking

Paying a parking meter is the last thing people visiting a hospital should have to worry about.

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Asparagus root, dug up from the old patch and ready to be transplanted. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Some tips on growing asparagus

When choosing asparagus I recommend buying male plants for juicier, plumper spears.

If you’re looking for a goat time, visit Russell Farms Market! (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: Looking for a goat time on Good Friday

If you drive by the farm market a little slower you see the goat pen.

The McCloskey-Hydro Rain Garden, located in a sunny Hydro corridor and receiving about 2.5 million litres of rainwater runoff per year from the roof of nearby McCloskey Elementary School. (Deborah Jones photo)
A&E column: From nature to poetry to puppets, there’s plenty afoot

What’s going on in the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment scene

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Most Read