California highway workers face ‘buckets of human feces,’ needles as homeless crisis worsens


As California’s homeless population skyrockets, the cost of cleaning up the state’s numerous shanty towns is also hitting record highs — and the price tag is likely to keep rising as workers tasked with tossing the vagrants’ syringes, feces and buckets of urine fight for safer conditions.

The Golden State’s homeless population of more than 130,000 people is now about 25 percent of the nationwide total, and cleaning up after the surging group is getting costly — topping $10 million in 2016-17. But the human cost is getting equally untenable, a workers’ advocate says.

Crouch told KTVU on Monday that maintenance crews often have to work in areas where the ground is muddy, slippery and ridden with debris that can include objects that are exceedingly sharp. Other items are simply dangerous to touch, such as potentially toxic or biologically unsafe materials.

Feces and urine and feminine products and all kinds of things on the ground; needles, syringes, you know they use buckets, five-gallon buckets for toilets and it gets really disgusting,”  he said.

In an interview with the Sacramento Bee, one Caltrans worker who asked not to be named due to fear of retribution said he’s been involved in six cleanups so far this year but only been given a pair of gloves as protection.

“I’ve been exposed to blood, needles, women’s feminine products… five-gallon buckets of human feces,” he told The Bee.READ MORE

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