Grand Cayman residents with dead cars will have to keep them on ice for awhile.
The Department of Environmental Health announced Monday that its intake of vehicles at its scrap metal facility at the George Town landfill is running at a “reduced frequency.”
Spokeswoman Stacey-Ann Anderson said the move went into effect a little over a month ago when the facility for processing the vehicles, before they are shipped off island, became overloaded.
The number of cars being processed at Cayman’s landfills has skyrocketed in recent years. According to the annual compendium of statistics released by the Economics and Statistics Office, the Department of Environmental Health accepted 71 derelict vehicles in 2014, 402 in 2015 and 832 last year. That is a nearly 1,200 percent increase over the three-year period.
“We have limited space,” Ms. Anderson said. “We decided we needed to reassess and find a way to reassure safety and accommodate new [vehicles].”
Collection of scrap metal has also been curtailed, according to a press release from the department.
“We have not completely stopped the collection of scrap metals and derelict vehicles but have reduced the quantities going to the landfill until we can safely stack the metals and prepare another area for the safe storage of the derelict vehicles,” said Department of Environmental Health director Roydell Carter, in the release.
In the meantime, the department is encouraging vehicle owners not to abandon their derelict cars by the side of the road or on someone else’s property. Ms. Anderson recommends that owners store the vehicles on their own property.
Just how long they will need to do so is not clear.
“It is difficult to say that this point,” Ms. Anderson said, adding that there is no target date. “I can’t give you a timeline. We’re working to see how soon we can have this rectified.”
She said she was unaware if a similar situation had arisen in the past.