Within the past few weeks police have been forced to remove two cars from remote areas of West Bay after they were apparently abandoned there.
One of the cars was a Toyota, which had no licence plates, preventing police from identifying the owner. Another vehicle, a Land Cruiser, was traced back to a Canadian man who left the island last year.
West Bay police commander Angelique Howell said the vehicles will both be destroyed. But she said they are only a small part of the problem.
‘Items such as cars, couches, fridges and stoves are being dumped all over West Bay,’ Ms Howell said. ‘It is totally unacceptable.’
Ms Howell said she believes most of the junk is coming from people who, for one reason or another, are leaving the island and have no means of taking those items with them.
West Bay police and the Cayman Islands Beautification Committee have recently started placing large no littering signs around the area, including the spots where the cars were left.
Chief Inspector Howell said she believes the signs will help raise awareness. However, she said residents need to take more responsibility for the items they own, particularly cars.
‘People are leaving the island and leaving (the vehicle) with friends,’ she said. ‘Then it breaks down, the friends can’t be bothered to fix it, or they can’t get it transferred and they just abandon it.’
Junked vehicles can be turned over to the Department of Environmental Health. Residents can obtain a notice by contacting the department, and can also report abandoned cars by calling 949-6696.
The fee for collecting junked vehicles is $75.
‘If they want to sell (the vehicle), they will have to hand it over to someone to sell it,’ Inspector Howell said. ‘If you have to leave and the vehicle is not sold, and has not been transferred (to someone else), you have to turn it in to the Department of Environmental Health.’
According to the Cayman Islands Litter Law (1997 Revision), enforcement officers do have the power to remove derelict vehicles after giving sufficient notice.
Disposal of other household items such as refrigerators, washers, stoves and the like can be handled at local landfills.
Littering in the Cayman Islands carries a maximum $500 fine, and is punishable by up to six months in jail.