The Waste Management Department announced that it extended enough time to owners of damaged vehicles and will now be moving forward with removing the vehicles which are essentially derelict.
A number of vehicles in the Territory were damaged by hurricane Irma and Manager of the Department of Waste Management (DWM) Mr. Greg Massicote said that his Department has expended patience and kindness to owners by delaying removal as much as possible.
However he said that the cleanup must progress and the vehicles will be removed. Albeit, he noted that the task is a daunting one: “We have so many vehicles out there to be collected. Some from before Irma and obviously those after Irma.”
Massicote pointed out that the Department is not haphazardly collecting vehicles without any form of warning. Instead he reminded that in October the Department of Waste Management issued a bulletin advising persons with damaged vehicles that were located in public parking lots or at the road side to move them by 31 October. It was noted that at the time the Department mentioned that after 31 October it was going to be collecting and disposing of all derelict vehicles as part of the clean up effort.
During his radio interview this week the Manager of DWM explained that the bulletin was sent out to give the public notice. “We deliberately waited as long as possible to deal with derelict vehicles mainly because we wanted to give the community enough time to go through the process of handling insurance, getting estimates for the vehicle — dealing with that business because although we have the law on our side to come and move vehicles from wherever once it’s derelict there is still a human side of what we do.”
“We deliberately delayed the derelict vehicle portion of the clean up as long as we could but obviously at some point when we are knocked down we have to get up we can’t stay down for too long.”
The Manager said that since November the Department has been tagging as many vehicles as it could. He said up until recently the Department was focused on the town area and the outskirts. Now, the Manager said that the Department will be implementing schedules to ensure that it gets to as many communities as possible.
“There are so many derelict vehicles it’s not going to be done in one day or one week it’s going to take some time…Not only are there many derelict vehicles but some of them are in some complicated spots that require a bit more care in removal,” he pointed out.
Nonetheless, the process to rid the BVI of derelicts has begun: “We are stock piling as much as we can. The overall plan is to export all metals – derelict vehicles, galvanize everything that was generated as a result of the storm to export everything out of the Territory. Derelict vehicles make up quite a big component and essentially the most valuable metal out there.”
He explained that all abandoned or damage vehicle or boat is considered derelict when left as waste. Therefore, it was pointed out that outside of derelict vehicles the Department is working on a plan to deal with all debris whether by recycling or exporting.
Additionally Massicote mentioned that the Department was presented with a crusher from DFID and announced that at the moment it is stock piling derelict vehicles which would then be crushed and shipped overseas.