Homeless encampment cleaning in Norco, California is not for the faint of heart. As the rate of homelessness rises in the state, the number of people who live in encampments also rises. The more that homeless encampments take over neighborhoods, the more risk the communities that they’re located in are exposed to. The most serious risk is the one to health since homeless encampments are filled with the type of waste that can cause disease and illness in the community at large. 

Why Are Homeless Encampments Dangerous?

Most homeless camps are not regulated, meaning that there’s no government authority overseeing the space to ensure health standards and other standards for safety are being met. Many encampments simply spring up wherever there’s space. This means that you could find them in residential neighborhoods, business districts, parks, beaches, along highways, and anywhere else that there’s space. Even if the residents of these encampments don’t intend to cause harm to the community, the conditions that exist in the camps safety impossible. 

  • Homeless encampments are filled with biohazardous waste. This waste contains pathogens that cause diseases in humans. Types of biohazardous waste include human waste, animal waste, drug paraphernalia, and blood. All of this waste is common in homeless encampments. 
  • People often use drugs paraphernalia in homeless encampments to use illicit drugs or to use medications that they actually need. This paraphernalia is usually discarded by simply being tossed onto the ground, causing a danger to anyone who touches it.
  • Many homeless encampment residents use items like kerosene lamps and portable gas stoves to cook food or heat their spaces. One wrong move and you could be dealing with a fire or explosion. 
  • Residents of homeless encampments have no place to put their garbage, so it’s usually left exposed, creating a serious contamination risk.
  • Encampment residents don’t have anywhere to place their food for storage. This means that much of it ends up rotting, creating biohazard risks from pathogens like e coli and salmonella.

Using Experienced Homeless Encampment Cleaning Companies

One of the most important choices you make when handling homeless encampment cleaning is making sure that you use companies that have experience handling this type of cleaning and handling biohazardous waste. 

These companies have the experience and know-how to manage even the most unpleasant cleanup sites. What many people don’t realize is that encampment cleanup can take a lot out of even the most experienced cleaners. Sanitation crew members often mention that this is the type of cleaning that they detest the most. This is because the amount and type of biohazardous waste that you can see at homeless encampments can be astonishing in its variety. You need teams that are used to working with this type of setup and will do everything to make sure that the site is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized once they’re done. 

Experienced teams also have the gear they need to protect themselves from contamination as they go through the encampment cleanup process. They are dressed in coveralls that cover them from top to bottom. They wear special gloves that are prick-proof so that they don’t get hurt handling sharps like syringes and needles that litter encampment sites. They have gear like respirators and face shields that protect their eyes, noses, and mouths. They walk through sites wearing special boots that are impervious to spills and other types of waste. 

When Should You Call for Homeless Encampment Cleanup?

You should call for homeless encampment cleanup when the cleanup needs to take place on property that you own. Some people assume that cleanup is always handled by the city, but that’s usually only in places where the encampment is located on city or public property. If the encampment is located on property that you own, the city or town may have the temporary residents removed, but you’d most likely be responsible for cleanup. The rules can differ on a case by case basis, so give us a call if you’re not sure where your encampment situation would net out. 

What Does the Encampment Cleaning Process Look Like?

The first thing that will happen is the cleaning team will go in and break down all the structures that were used as shelter. This includes items like cardboard boxes, blankets, tents, and anything else left behind that was used for shelter. THese items will either be thrown in the dumpster or separated out as biohazardous waste. This will depend on the condition that they were found in. 

Next, the teams will remove all of the biohazardous waste on site. This will include the drug paraphernalia, the human waste, and everything else that falls under this category. This waste will then be placed in special bins, containers and bags that will be sealed up tightly so that they’re not able to contaminate other items or people who will be handling the waste. They’ll be handled for transport to waste disposal facilities later. 

Cleaning and sanitization will happen next. The teams will thoroughly wash down the site with cleaners, solvents, deodorizers that have been OSHA and EPA-approved to handle the cleaning of biohazardous waste. This is not the time to bring in Mr. Clean! The sites need to be completely cleaned and disinfected so that any lingering viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens are completely destroyed. 

There are lots of reasons that homeless encampments are difficult. They are unsanitary, creating a disease risk for everyone who lives in the area. They are difficult to clean if you don’t have the right tools and know-how, so working with a cleaning company that has this experience can make all the difference. Give us a call if you need to figure out next steps regarding homeless encampment cleaning.