A number of derelict vehicles in the West Bay area were taken to the landfill last week during a district cleanup initiative organized by West Bay community police officers following complaints by community members.
However, other members of the public still cannot take derelict vehicles to the dump. The Department of Environmental Health told the Cayman Compass on Friday that the landfill is still curtailing the number of derelict vehicles it is accepting as officials are in the process of “reorganizing” the site.
“[The Department of Environmental Health] is currently in the process of reorganizing the landfill to normalize the removal of derelict vehicles,” said a government information officer. “The process is expected to last over the next six months. During this time, the DEH will continue to limit the intake of derelict vehicles at George Town landfill for health and safety reasons.”
The Department of Environmental Health cleared a section of the landfill last week specifically to accommodate the vehicles that were removed during last week’s cleanup efforts, the information office said.
Those vehicles were collected from various places throughout the district and parked outside the West Bay Police Station, where they were later removed by Environmental Health officials.
“The vehicles come from various places in the district and were transported to the station with the help of a local equipment operator. The person who owns the property next to the station was also willing to let us temporarily place the vehicles there, so this has been a community effort on all sides,” said neighborhood police officer Eugene Myles. “Having the vehicles in one location allows the DEH to remove them all at the same time. We contacted DEH and they were eager to assist.”
Community group organizer Katherine Wilks said the cleanup efforts went a long way to improve the district.
“Even just coming together on a weekend morning to clear a neighborhood of trash is a big step in the right direction,” said Ms. Wilks.
“We are very pleased to have the support of the community police officers as we work together to make the West Bay community a better place to live. This community cleanup is just the beginning.”
The Department of Environmental Health’s policy of turning down derelict automobiles started last October when the facility for processing the vehicles, before they are shipped off island, became overloaded.
“We have limited space,” department spokesperson Stacey-Ann Anderson said last November. “We decided we needed to reassess and find a way to reassure safety and accommodate new [vehicles].”
In January, Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour said he was taking active steps to find a suitable solution to the situation.
“We must find a place for these vehicles,” Mr. Seymour said, “and I can guarantee that’s going to happen very soon.”