By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
Residents are crying foul about the cleanliness of Oshawa’s beaches after several incidents of dangerous items, including used syringes, being uncovered in the sand.
In recent weeks, complaints have surfaced on Facebook regarding used syringes being discovered on the beach, including multiple times in the same day.
Carly Gorelad was walking with a friend and her child when they found two syringes in two separate areas while walking along the beach.
She snapped a photo and shared her concerns on Facebook, warning others with children to be careful in the area as the dangerous items can be lurking beneath the sand.
“More people need to be aware of what’s at these beaches, especially people with children,” Gorelad tells The Oshawa Express.
This also isn’t the first time residents have discovered such things on Oshawa’s beaches and public spaces. For resident Kait Brijeski, she remembers more than 10 different occasions in which she’s found needles or other drug paraphernalia at Lakeview Park and along the Oshawa Creek path.
“This doesn’t include the beer cans and all the broken glass in the sand,” she says. “I always pick it up so nobody gets hurt or an animal, like my dog, who could rip her pad open.”
For the Durham Regional Police, residents are encouraged to report these incidents to them or the John Howard Society who have the proper means and containers to dispose of the needles.
George Tudos, media spokesperson with the DRPS states that while they don’t respond to items posted on social media, they have received such a call for disposal in recent weeks.
“It happens once in a blue moon, it’s not too common,” Tudos says.
And while reports have surfaced on social media, Ron Diskey, the city’s commissioner of community services says that none of the complaints have been brought to their attention at city hall.
He explains that the sand at the beach is raked twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. As well, two staffers walk the beach every morning to pick up litter and debris.
The city also uses a sand screener on the sand of the beach volleyball courts and once per month the entire beach gets the same treatment.
“We have not had any reports of needles and have not found any ourselves,” Diskey says.
Lakeview Park beach has also recently been posted by the Region of Durham as unsafe to swim in due to elevated bacteria levels.
Whitby Beach and Kinsmen Beach in Scugog are also posted as unsafe, Kinsmen Beach due to the potential presence of blue green algae.