ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) -- This week, the City of Ithaca has been cleaning up homeless encampments near Brindley Street known as the Jungle. Roughly 25 tons of waste have already been removed and brought to the Tompkins County Recycling and Solid Waste Center.  

“The garbage goes to a permanent landfill," Eckstrom said, adding, “We have a contract with Casella Waste, and that material would either go to a facility that they operate in Ontario County.”  

Despite all the trash the Waste Center took, there were still lots of used needles, fuel containers, and other sharp and dangerous objects left over that the waste center cannot accept. Barbara Eckstrom, director of the Tompkins County Recycling and Solid Waste Center, says medical waste experts should be part of future clean-ups.  

“(We need) qualified vendors that are capable of (handling) the safety issues as well as disposal issues," Eckstrom said, adding, "I would want to see the people who are experts at medical waste and hazardous waste be part of the team."   

More cleanups of the homeless encampments in the Ithaca jungle are expected to take place later in 2023.