Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

A photo of needles shared on social media in front of an Anderson Way business has sparked community outrage. (Vernon Rant and Rave image)

An abundance of needles springing up around Vernon, B.C. has the public outraged with safety concerns.

The snow melt is revealing discarded needles in various locations around town – including Anderson Way, near the Civic Arena and walking trails around town.

“I already collected a whole bunch along Pleasant Valley Road last week,” said Maaike van Zwaaij, responding to a picture shared on the Vernon Morning Star Facebook page (originally from the Vernon Rant and Rave site).

And it’s not just Vernon.

“Same things being found in Enderby,” reports resident David Lautsch. “Sad state of affairs.”

A Cache Creek resident reports the situation is worse there.

Unlike some other garbage and debris the snow melt is uncovering, the safety hazard needles present to children and pets is of particular concern.

“Last time I was in Vernon at a school playground with my daughter we found needles littered around the school yard. It is a terrifying site when you have little ones playing near this trash,” said Zachary Linderman. “I hope a solution is found for the small group of people doing this!”

See related: Needles found at school

One solution is somewhere those using needles can go to safely dispose of them – a safe injection site.

“Time to shift our paradigms and see addiction for what it really is – a health issue, not a criminal issue,” said Jinny Rhodes.

Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund says this is not a matter of more needles around town.

“It may not be a case of increased needles but in fact that the snow has hidden them for a longer period of time,” said Mund.

See related: Fewer needles found

According to Interior Health: “Anyone using a needle to inject should dispose of it safely. However, that’s not always the case, and sometimes discarded needles and drug paraphernalia are found in public areas.”

Therefore those who are cleaning up needles are urged to use safe needle disposal.

– Do not try to replace the cap on the needle, snap, break or bend the needle.

– Pick up needle using work or latex gloves and tongs or tweezers, holding needle point away from you.

– Put the needle in a metal or hard plastic container that has a lid, such as a product or drink bottle.

– Replace cap on container firmly and label it.

– Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.

– Drop off the sealed container at your local health unit or at a community drop box.

The city of Vernon recently released an warning about debris being uncovered with spring melt.

See Spring melt can uncover hazards



newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Shag Creek area under evacuation order, area expanded

93 properties are being told to evacuate immediately

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Thousands prepare to leave their homes at a moment’s notice

Northwest B.C. and Cariboo seeing most fire activity in province as crews battle 490 fires

UPDATED: Evacuation alerts due to Chutanli Lake Fire expanded; Shag Creek area put on alert

40 properties on alert due to Chutanli Lake Fire; 17 due to Shag Creek

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read