Needle Sweep and Extreme Clean in a Squat

At A Glance

Location: Newbury, Berkshire

Structure: Squat

Problem: Needles and Foul Waste

Solution: Needle Sweep and Extreme Clean



In our dealings with Property Agents, we come across a lot of vacant properties that have been broken into and used as an illegal squat and rugs den. Empty buildings become easy targets, especially where the agent is not local to the property – they only find out there is a problem when the problem has occurred for some time.

Rapid Environmental Services were called upon to provide a needle and sharps sweep and removal, followed by a clean out and extreme clean on a site in Newbury, Berkshire recently where an old nursery had been broken into and used as a squat.

The Problem

The building had not been broken into for that long, but despite this a terrible mess had been made. The area was covered in rubbish and old children’s toys and furniture, and faeces had been smeared around the walls in the toilet areas – but most worryingly multiple needles and syringes were found in each section of the building.

The Challenge

The challenges faced were:

  • Sharps and needles identified in each section of the building
  • Piles of rubbish that needed to be moved to expose potential sharp hazards
  • Foul waste and excrement covering the toilet
  • Removal and disposal of all rubbish, toys and furniture for safe disposal (risk of needles in furniture)

Rapid Environmental Services are very used to working in these conditions and and safety of our staff is paramount, so our needle sweep protocols are followed to the letter to ensure we have no accidental punctures.

The Solution

Rapid ESL’s needle sweep teams are highly trained and experienced in dealing with this type of environment, so our needle sweep protocols are observed to ensure all staff are protected and that the area is painstakingly and thoroughly searched for sharps and other drug related objects before beginning to clear up the rest of the rubbish.

The faeces smears were pre-treated with a powerful pathogen killing fluid designed especially for removal and decontaminating bodily fluids. All work like this must be done by hand to ensure it is totally clean. The toilets were overflowing and water had been turned off to the building so we used an independent supply to get them working and thoroughly cleaned.

This site contained some very disturbing images – we see pretty much all things, but even our most hardened staff members were taken by surprise with the baby changing mat with needles stuck in it and also the Christmas pudding box used to hold old needles – all this just 3 days before Christmas was very disturbing.

The Result

This relatively straight forward seeming job turned into a much bigger problem with over 60 needles and syringes recovered and deep cleaning of all walls and floors with pathogen destroying fluids. All waste was removed and safely disposed of.

The agent arranged the fitting of new security measures whilst we were still on site to prevent further problems.

The client was very happy with the clean up and our methods of working with them – they commented accordingly – “Rapid ESL make it simple and easy for us, giving us excellent reports and keeping in constant communication with us throughout the project”.


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