Orange County Public Works officials have released eye-popping figures on the total amount of debris, needles and hazardous waste removed when crews cleaned up the area along the Santa Ana River Trail once populated by the encampments of homeless people, it was reported Friday.
OC Public Works spokesman Shannon Widor said in remarks reported in the Orange County Register that what was collected between Jan. 22 and March 3 from a more than two-mile stretch of bike trail roughly from I-5 in Orange to Ball Road in Anaheim included 404 tons of debris, 13,950 needles, and 5,279 pounds of human waste.
More than 700 people were living in the encampments when they were dismantled in late February. Most of those people are being housed temporarily in local motels while county outreach workers assess their need for services and housing.
The bike trail cleanup is the beginning of an environmental remediation effort expected to include the removal of 2 to 3 inches of soil in the project area and tree trimming. Planned improvements on the bike trail from Katella to Ball Road/Taft Avenue also could include sealing cracks and applying a slurry seal, Widor said.