City tackles needle clean up
Regular run-ins with an unsightly collection of needles and medical waste might be a thing a thing of the past for residents living in the Patricia Boulevard area of Prince George.
The city recently took action to deter illegal camping and dumping in the area, especially north of the Millar Addition where many area residents were affected.
Last spring, one the local residents, Scott Roberts, went on a leisurely stroll on a trail near Sacred Heart School.
“I walk the trail regularly and despite repeated attempts requesting the city to clean up the area, the hazardous waste remains,” Roberts told The Citizen in April.
The popular trail runs from Patricia Street, across from Gorse Street, to Fifth Avenue.
Roberts contacted the RCMP as well as the city in hope of a response.
According to the city, reports can be made online and in these cases, reports are forwarded to the proper department.
“There must have been a breakdown at some point when first reported,” said city spokesperson Mike Kellett.
“Usually, a file is opened immediately and then followed-up the very next day.”
Since then, the city has taken steps to address the issues in the area.
Discarded needles and garbage have been removed, underbrush and stalks were cut, lighting was added to existing poles and a grated access road was constructed behind Lower Patricia Boulevard.
“In response, we wanted to provide a new access for police and by-law officers,” Kellett said.
The operation is due for completion this month and area residents are impressed.
The city launched a new website in April where incidents such as this can be reported and then forwarded to the respective departments.
Citizens in the area were given notice before cleanup crews arrived.
Crews have cleared brush along Patricia Boulevard. The area was a popular place for drug use with hundreds needles left around.