Their intent is simple: to help clean up the community.
That’s the motivation behind a group of volunteers who were on the prowl Saturday afternoon for discarded needles across Vernon.
Backed by 10 volunteers, organizer and operator of the Okanagan Community Watch Facebook page Ty Herold said the group focused on the downtown core and Polson Park areas.
“(We found) more in the downtown but way less in Polson. In fact, the only ones we found from Polson were in and on the train tunnel,” Herold said. “They were everywhere downtown though and you could tell some of the hot spots down there were recently cleaned.”
During this year’s spring cleaning, Herold said more than 100 needles were found.
The volunteers efforts come on the heels of the spring snow melt, which revealed discarded needles across town and caused public outrage and safety concerns.
Anyone who cleans up needles can drop them off at the Community Policing Office, North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society office or the Vernon Health Unit. Additionally, many public washrooms have proper needle disposal containers.
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.