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

Spring melt uncovers dirty needles in Vernon

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

An abundance of needles springing up around town 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 Vernon Health Unit offers disposal of used needles and distribution of clean needles, as well as information to encourage safer injection practices.

The Community Safety Office will also accept found drug paraphernalia for destruction providing it is properly contained in a lidded puncture-proof container.

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Building to begin on Okanagan Rail Trail washroom

Project starts Monday, July 13, in Coldstream between Westkal Road and Kickwillie Loop

Campfires pop up at North Okanagan alternative summer camp

MacKenzie Camp near Mabel Lake in Enderby still trying fun things for summer despite COVID-19

Ex-Vernon Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Lake Country trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

Innovation Centre prepares to open doors to Vernon co-workers

Former restaurant re-imagined to host ideas from Vernon’s ‘hidden’ home-based workforce

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Security guard assaulted in Kamloops park thanks police, public for quick arrest

Glen Warner, 71, was attacked on July 2 by a man who was asked by Warner to not smoke

Portraits celebrating Syilx culture now on display at Kelowna International Airport

Sheldon Pierre Louis’ art will be on display at YLW from now until July 2021

After slow start, Summerland sees more tourism activity

Majority of visitors come from within British Columbia

EDITORIAL: Accommodating Okanagan fruit pickers

Campsite for agricultural workers to open in Summerland

Deer and moose die after being chased by dogs in South Okanagan

BC conservation officers are asking the public to control their pets

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Trail RCMP officer accused of criminal harassment, forcible entry

BCPS: The charges against Murchie date between 2017 and 2020

Most Read