Pointing out the presence of contaminated needles
At the Nov. 27 Santa Cruz City Council meeting, residents fed up with local drug use, homelessness and crime flooded into the meeting just in time for the public comment period, hauling trash they had collected during their group walk to City Hall. One participant told the council that they had found dozens of syringes on their way to the meeting.
The momentum led to the creation of a Facebook group called The Clean Team!!, which was created on Monday, Dec. 3 as "a place for community members to document locations of garbage and hazardous waste so that others may find the locations and help with cleanup efforts," according to the page. As of press time Tuesday morning, the group had 124 members and several posts about needles found in various locations around town. One member posted that he found 15 dirty needles on a walk from the San Lorenzo River Mouth to Cowell's Beach. Talk of finding needles in parks, beaches and even private yards has also been prominent on the Take Back Santa Cruz Facebook page. Concerned citizens planned to visit the Tuesday, Dec. 4 Board of Supervisors meeting to request something be done about the problem.