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 snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

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

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

Taekwondo students dress up Charles Hays just for kicks

Prince Rupert Taekwondo Club hosts week long summer camp for kids

Entire Port Edward council running for re-election

A preview of the 2018 municipal race in the District of Port Edward

Inspection report reveals multiple failures in Prince Rupert ammonia leak

68kg ammonia tank was being stored improperly in a shipping container outside the arena

In Our Opinion: How to lose an ammonia tank— ask the city

How did a 68kg cylinder of ammonia remain unseen after multiple audits and assessments

Heart of Our City: Krista Ediger gets into character

Harbour Theatre board member, Krista Ediger, plays many roles on and off stage in Prince Rupert

Cultural canoe reconnects families to the coast

Wave Riders explore the North Coast, B.C. shores in a large canoe as a way to unplug and be present

The Northern View 2018 Readers Choice

Vote online or at the Prince Rupert office before noon on Sept. 7

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Most Read