To date 1,959 car wrecks taken to eco-landfill site | THE DAILY HERALD

MARIGOT–The Collectivité has disclosed that 1,959 car wrecks were transported to the eco-landfill site in Grandes Cayes for processing at its vehicle centre between October 2017 and June 30, 2018.

The breakdown is: 754 by the Collectivité, 123 by garages, 20 by individuals, 885 by insurance companies, 41 by the Gendarmerie, and 136 by other means. Some 1,085 of these vehicles were decontaminated and destroyed by June 30, 2018, a colossal task carried out by the public authorities over a period of 10 months.

The day after Irma, it was estimated that 5,000 vehicles deemed “written off” would first have to be appraised (for those insured against all risks) then removed and transported to the eco-site, responsible for processing these vehicles. And that was without counting car wrecks abandoned already on the territory for years.

The day after Irma, President of the Collectivité Daniel Gibbs and his team set up a free collection system to clean up the territory from this visual eyesore. This job is done on the one hand by the insurers who take care of their customers’ vehicles themselves, and on the other hand by garages, Gendarmes, private individuals concerned with complying with the regulations, but also by the local government via the Environmental Department which collects abandoned wrecks on public roads.

Today, almost a year after the hurricanes, abandoned car wrecks are still visible on the sides of roads because their collection takes time, as the eco-site can only process up to 40-50 vehicles a day, despite a reinforcement of the teams. The decontamination of vehicles is a legal obligation before they can be crushed and transported to an approved recycling site.

It is also because the Collectivité does not have the legal right to intervene in the private domain, in particular in communal residences. “You can’t remove a car without making sure the owner agrees,” explains Vice-President in charge of the Sustainable Development Department Steven Patrick.

For a vehicle to be collected on private property, the owner must go to the Environmental Department on the premises of the old hospital in Marigot with the car registration, sign a discharge and request the removal. The exception is if the vehicle is reduced to a carcass, in which case the local authority may intervene accompanied by the Territorial Police who would first establish the facts.

On the public domain an abandoned vehicle has a red cross painted on the bodywork and a card is created for each car, in case the owner ends up making himself known. This form is sent to one of the two service providers responsible for transporting the wrecks to the eco-site. The decontamination of these wrecks takes place at the eco-site, in the manner provided for by European standards.

There are two examples of processing. The vehicle may be a recent wreck from which spare parts can be recovered and sold locally. This manual sorting makes it possible to process only five to seven vehicles per day. The empty carcasses are then flattened and sent in containers to recycling sites, including a site in Taiwan.

Or, the wreck is old and in poor condition and passes into an automatic depollution workshop where sorting is done mechanically at a rate of six to eight vehicles per hour.

All metals are sorted and the steel ground. This ISO 14001 qualified workshop – the equivalent of a three-star Michelin – has an international certificate and is regularly inspected, with the aim of respecting the environment.

In all cases, the employees start by removing the airbags, the batteries, all fluids and oils. Today, the priority of the eco-site is to treat the metal stored on site, to free up surface for the car wrecks which will gradually leave the island.

The Collectivité urges the public to play its part by not abandoning car wrecks and instead requesting their removal by calling the Environmental Department (0590) 52.27.30.

Source: The Daily Herald