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greenfreek

Broken glass and dirty needles...

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Hello,

Im new to geocaching (only been doing it a month)

I woke up this morning to find a new cache in my are that happened to be on my route to and from work.

I go passed this place every day, and although its normally quite messy and not really an ideal hang out, I didn't realise how bad it was until I started looking for cache. Within minutes rather than finding the cache I came across 3 dirty needles, copious amounts of broken glass along with empty beer cans and bottles.

 

I wouldn't even recommend this to CITO as theres just no telling how dangerous it is. :unsure:

 

I posted a small DNF log on the cache page in question saying that basically I didn't find it because I didn't want to hang around.

 

Im not quite sure what else to do tho. Should I report it to some one? If so who? And what do I say?

 

I wanted to warn people because I normally take my 2 nieces caching with me and I'd hate for any children to find the needles (or anyone for that matter.)

 

What do I do? :unsure:

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I personally would not touch any of that stuff. I would call my local police's non emergency line and let them know of partying and drug use. They can probably get if cleaned up.

 

Just tell them " I was out geocaching (most police know what it is) and on the way I found a lot of drug needles and empty alchohol containers. This concerns me because I don't want my kids to see this when they go out caching" then you probably will have to give good directons about where it was. You can give coords if you have them, law inforcement and medics can use GPS in plenty of areas.

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I don't know why people hide caches in nasty areas like this. I wouldn't hold back on my DNF log. I would ask why they wanted to bring people here. I would say how disgusting and dangerous it is. I would make it clear that I would not return. When I hide a cache I feel I'm responsible for the area where it is hidden. If I find trash around it when I'm doing cache maintenance I clean it up.

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Don't forget, no matter where you are, you are in someone elses backyard/area of town.

 

My best word of advice. Where I live, people call the Fire Dept. or police whenever they come across a needle no matter if they are Geocaching, or walking down the street. They will send someone down who is properly trained, and has the proper gear to dispose of the needles.

 

For you yourself, I don't know why people always have a problem with this. Stay in the areas you know, or feel safe in. Just becuase there is a cache in a bad part of town, doesn't mean you need to find it, or take small children with you to find it. But that shouldn't take the fun away from people living in that area from joining in on the fun.

 

I had a few caches myself that I was going to look for in the bad part of town. As soon as I saw a Needle Exchange box in the park, I didn't even slow down. That spot will never have a smiley on my "Finds", but if some people who live in the area, and frequent that park want to find it, I am not going to be the one to spoil their fun becuase I am used to needle free parks where I live.

 

It should be everyone's responsibility to call the authorities no matter what they are doing if they find needles laying around though.

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Broken glass and dirty needles, all around this cache of mine

If'n you don't like it, you can kiss my *** and whine

I put it there on purpose, just for you to find

If you can dodge the crackheads you may be the first to find.

 

No offense intended, I just got inspired. I try to dodge such caches & am a firm believer in CITO.

Last line by an as yet anonymous co-writer.

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Broken glass and dirty needles, all around this cache of mine

If'n you don't like it, you can kiss my *** and whine

I put it there on purpose, just for you to find

If you can dodge the crackheads you may be the first to find.

 

No offense intended, I just got inspired. I try to dodge such caches & am a firm believer in CITO.

Last line by an as yet anonymous co-writer.

 

I love this!!!!

 

Just to let you all know... I posted it as a dnf on the log and the owner has since closed it down and moved it and reopened it. He also has reported the area to be cleaned up and I meanwhile have found the cache. Thanks guys x

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Cool to hear. Like I was thinking, the needles and broken glass could have come from a party of some sort, and not the CO's fault for trying to bring you there.

 

At the same time, be careful of your surroundings when you are out. A missing smiley on your map is far better then poking yourself, or even worse, getting your neice poked with a needle and getting who knows what. Might be a wise idea to stay away from that general area if you are taking her to find a few. Never know where the next pile of needles may be hiding.

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I live in a pretty nasty area of town. Although the caches in my area are not in bad spots (so far), I do see a lot of needles, litter, cans, and broken glass all up and down my street. I have called about this to the police and fire department and even the mayor's office. I have broken glass on the sidewalk in front of my house almost every week. No one has helped so I have taken it upon myself to pick this stuff up. If you are finding these nasty things in your parks or community check back and make sure they get cleaned up. Of course take proper precautions (especially with needles! Don't use your hands!) if you have to be the one to clean it up. If the proper authorities are not cleaning up your area (and no one else is), then all the needles, trash and glass will keep sitting there for someone else to find.

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The Authorities? Really? Since when did they become garbage men? If you don't like finding it in your environment why leave it for someone else to find? What if they are not lucky enough to see it you did and get cut or poked themselves?

 

Add these to your TOTT if this is a problem where you cache:

  1. Buy a Sharps container at your local pharmacy. (No one has a problem throwing tons of cash into cache containers. Why not spend a little to help improve our world too?) You can also use a metal coffee can - cut a small hole in the lid which these things can fit through and duct tape the lid on securely.
  2. Sturdy pair of pliers or similar grasping device for picking up sharp objects.
  3. Heavy leather gloves to further protect your hands from scratches.

Admittedly, I worked in the medical field for almost 15 years so needles (and broken glass) don't intimidate me at all. I would rather clean this stuff up than leave it for the next unfortunate soul to find.

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I cannot speak for all Medics or services but I don't mind when someone waves us down to dispose of needles. We have plenty of sharps containers to dispose of them and several types of forceps to pick them up. Sadly in the town I live, not where I work, at one of the little league parks the adults have to walk the fields to clear needles off of them. Sad really.

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Wide mouth Gatorade containers also work well. I wrap mine in duct tape, Sharpie BIOHAZARD all over it, use rubber gloves or some other sort of barrier to pick up the needles and drop them in the container. When the container is full I drop it at the local hospital, needle exchange, ambulance station, or fire house. Never had a problem with someone taking the needles off my hands.

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The Authorities? Really? Since when did they become garbage men? If you don't like finding it in your environment why leave it for someone else to find? What if they are not lucky enough to see it you did and get cut or poked themselves?

 

Add these to your TOTT if this is a problem where you cache:

  1. Buy a Sharps container at your local pharmacy. (No one has a problem throwing tons of cash into cache containers. Why not spend a little to help improve our world too?) You can also use a metal coffee can - cut a small hole in the lid which these things can fit through and duct tape the lid on securely.
  2. Sturdy pair of pliers or similar grasping device for picking up sharp objects.
  3. Heavy leather gloves to further protect your hands from scratches.

Admittedly, I worked in the medical field for almost 15 years so needles (and broken glass) don't intimidate me at all. I would rather clean this stuff up than leave it for the next unfortunate soul to find.

 

I mostly agree with this statement but I would suggest that before cleaning up an area that includes needles you should first contact the authorities, tell them who you are, what you found and that you are willing to clean it up. Get it on record, that way you will have that information in case you get caught. Around here a person carrying a box of needles would get arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.

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We found a cache today that's supposed to be hidden somewhere above ground in a huge pine tree. We found it lying on the ground, as many others have, on top of the bed of pine needles underneath.

 

The garbage under this tree was disgusting ! Full size Vodka bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag. Wine bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag WITH THE CORKSCREW STILL STUCK IN THE CORK which was obviously stuck back in after the bottle was empty ?? Empty pill/prescription bottles ???

 

Ew.

 

We are all for CITO, "normal," CITO !! THIS isn't normal trash ! There is NO WAY I'm going to pick up the garbage left by someone who walks and/or drives around drinking Vodka from a paper bag or throws an empty wine bottle out of their car window with the corkscrew still stuck in the cork !! No way !!

 

The garbage at this cache site was deep. In other words, there was a lot of it buried under and entangled amongst the thick bed of pine needles. This leads me to wonder why any Geocacher would EVER place a cache there ???

 

We place caches in areas we're proud of. As a homeowner I'm not going to invite you over to my house for a party if it's a sty and say "please clean up while you're here," nor would I place a cache in a roadside dump and ask you to "please perform CITO while you're here."

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Should also look out for containers with orange stains on them and coffee filters with orange stains. These are the left overs from meth labs. If you find them call the cops, DO NOT TOUCH! Not only are they evidence but the chemicals that are left over from cooking meth can be very harmful. One of the sad facts one has to learn when they grow up on a farm down a dusty country road these days.

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We found a cache today that's supposed to be hidden somewhere above ground in a huge pine tree. We found it lying on the ground, as many others have, on top of the bed of pine needles underneath.

 

The garbage under this tree was disgusting ! Full size Vodka bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag. Wine bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag WITH THE CORKSCREW STILL STUCK IN THE CORK which was obviously stuck back in after the bottle was empty ?? Empty pill/prescription bottles ???

 

Ew.

 

We are all for CITO, "normal," CITO !! THIS isn't normal trash ! There is NO WAY I'm going to pick up the garbage left by someone who walks and/or drives around drinking Vodka from a paper bag or throws an empty wine bottle out of their car window with the corkscrew still stuck in the cork !! No way !!

 

The garbage at this cache site was deep. In other words, there was a lot of it buried under and entangled amongst the thick bed of pine needles. This leads me to wonder why any Geocacher would EVER place a cache there ???

 

We place caches in areas we're proud of. As a homeowner I'm not going to invite you over to my house for a party if it's a sty and say "please clean up while you're here," nor would I place a cache in a roadside dump and ask you to "please perform CITO while you're here."

One word: gloves. Nothing at all there would probably hurt you, but if you're not sure... wear gloves.

 

It is entirely possible that either that litter wasn't there when the cache owner hid the cache, or that the cache owner wasn't aware of it, due to the route they took to GZ. I say that based on personal experience. My cache that was like that has since been archived, but it was not like that when I hid it, and due to the route I took to the cache normally, I didn't see the problem when I did cache maintenance.

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Well...

 

There are a number of weirdos 'round these parts that love to explore abandoned structures, bridges, etc. A lot of these are actually able to be explored without breaking any laws as no private, commercial, or government entity claims responsibility for them. "Beauty in the breakdown" so to speak. This is really common here in the Rust Belt in the Midwest / Midatlantic states.

 

Bad thing is, a lot of these places ALSO attract vagrants, partiers, graffiti artists, drug addicts, etc. The authorities generally know about them. There's not much they can do besides monitor any suspicious or criminal activity (i.e. break up a party actively in progress or break up a drug trade).

 

CITO isn't going to do much at these places. Many places are "littered" with relics of the past that were left when the place was vacated. They're like a grave, basically - a look into the past. I don't know that "clean up" is warranted in all cases. Truly the only form of clean up is to bulldoze or renovate the entire place.

 

Is it right for a geocacher to place a cache in one of these locations? Well, I guess that can be debated all day long. Some may want to explore an abandoned structure. Some may argue the cache was placed in poor taste and isn't family friendly, etc etc. It's best to know the risks first. It's best to avoid placement in a high crime area or an area that may contain harmful (and non-visible) pollution (i.e. Superfund site). If it's an abandoned structure where little crime risk is present but there may be some debris or partying - again, CO's discretion. They can up the terrain and post (stern) warnings about any dangers present. The CO does NOT assume the liability of cache-finder stupidity, either.

 

Other than that, if you're still a nut like me and enjoy exploring some of these places, I highly recommend strong gloves, current vaccinations (Hep, tetanus), a form of self defense, gear (if higher terrain), a camera, and other supplies (first aid). And a cell phone. Very, very important.

 

If there's sharps around (and thankfully I haven't seen any locally at the abandoned spots) I avoid them. Most of these areas will just attract more of them. Like I stated before you will only "clean out" such an area if it's patrolled, re-zoned, demolished, etc.

Edited by nittanycopa

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Wide mouth Gatorade containers also work well. I wrap mine in duct tape, Sharpie BIOHAZARD all over it, use rubber gloves or some other sort of barrier to pick up the needles and drop them in the container. When the container is full I drop it at the local hospital, needle exchange, ambulance station, or fire house. Never had a problem with someone taking the needles off my hands.

 

Being a former member of a volunteer fire company...always ask the place for permission before dropping stuff like this off. They may have policies against handling sharps dropped off by the public. The company I ran with had to pay a disposal company to come pick this stuff up. It's one thing to have biohazardous materials (used gloves, sharps) after a fire call, but it's not necessarily a service for the public to use to drop off trash.

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