‘Eye-Popping’ Number of Hypodermic Needles, Pounds of Waste Cleared From O.C. Riverbed Homeless Encampment

A bicyclist rides past piles of trash from the Santa Ana River homeless camp after it was cleared and more than 700 people relocated in Anaheim in February. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A bicyclist rides past piles of trash from the Santa Ana River homeless camp after it was cleared and more than 700 people relocated in Anaheim in February. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Crews from the Orange County Public Works department have collected nearly 14,000 hypodermic needles and cleared more than 5,000 pounds of hazardous waste — including human waste — from the vast homeless encampment along the Santa Ana River trail.

The numbers, released last week, represent cleanup work done from Jan. 22 to March 3 along a two-mile stretch of trail spanning the 5 Freeway in Orange to Ball Road in Anaheim.

The tally — 404 tons of debris, 13,950 needles and 5,279 pounds of waste — is “simply eye-popping,” said Shannon Widor, Orange County Public Works spokesman.

“Nothing of this magnitude involving our crews and homeless populations has ever been done before in the county,” he said.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.