Allegheny County

City of Pittsburgh cleans up drug debris found across from youth center after Channel 11 report

PITTSBURGH — Days after Channel 11 aired a peace about the public health crisis, right across the street from the Sarah Heinz House, off of Chestnut Street, the city came in and cleaned it all up.

RELATED >>> Residents concerned over cleanliness, safety after drug debris found across from local youth center

“Last week it was a homeless encampment littered with needles, covered in drug paraphernalia, garbage and tents.

Nick Santillo was among those who led the effort to get the area cleaned up, bringing the public health concerns to our attention.

“I’m very happy they cleaned it up, but we need to stay after it.” Santillo said.

11 Investigates found hundreds of needles, tie off straps, saline, and tin cookers spread among the tents.

“The living conditions - nobody should be living like that,” Santillo added.

It was a massive operation to clean the area up, and sources tell 11 Investigates the bill was steep. Three tents and some needles still remain along with garbage left behind, since some people were still living in the tents when crews came to clean it up.

“The city was good to respond, and it was nice working with some of those folks to get it cleaned up,” Santillo added. “It’s a shame it took so much effort when it was such a big obvious thing that needed to be taken care of.”

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