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Penticton's latest clean up of homeless camp includes 1,200 needles

FILE PHOTO- City of Penticton bylaw officers make an inspection of the Esplanade Park trails. The city conducted a clean up of the area this week.
December 03, 2019 - 4:00 PM

The City of Penticton is continuing its clean up of the Esplanade lands this week as the onset of colder weather has resulted in a reduced population of transients in the area.

City Bylaw services supervisor Tina Siebert said it’s not unusual for the city to take on a clean up task such as this even at such a late stage in the season.

Four bylaw officers were accompanied by two community safety officers, two clean team staff and four contracted helpers in this week’s effort, with the crew putting in seven hours yesterday.

Siebert says furniture, book cases, makeshift stairs, barbecues, propane tanks, mattresses, garbage, debris and 1,200 sharps were collected.

The work isn’t quite complete, Siebert said this morning, Dec. 3. The remainder is scheduled for completion next week.

The work to clean up Esplanade park, which is an undeveloped hillside located south of the Penticton Yacht Club and tennis courts began yesterday as city work crews began gathering unwanted and discarded material from campsites in the park.

Siebert says there has been a reduction in campers on the Esplanade, mainly due to the cold weather, but a few still remain in the area.

She says the city receives complaints about campers and activities in the Esplanade on a year round basis.

The city has conducted eight Esplanade park clean ups so far this year, collecting between one and five dumpsters full of waste each time.

The city has plans for additional clean up work in the park in support of wildfire mitigation efforts.

The Esplanade grounds in Penticton.
The Esplanade grounds in Penticton.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Google maps

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