Area residents are taking full advantage of the Kenai Peninsula Borough's invitation to drop off junk and abandoned vehicles that may have been cluttering yards or causing various domestic arguments.
As of Monday afternoon, the Kenai Transfer Facility on Redoubt Avenue in Kenai reported 17 vehicles and the Central Peninsula Bailing Facility, Mile 98.5 of the Sterling Highway in Soldotna, reported 19 were brought in throughout the weekend.
Soldotna resident Pat Dobson loaded up two vehicles that had been left in his yard, one for more than five years, and drove more than 18 miles to the Soldotna site.
He said the borough cleanup came at a perfect time.
"My mom and dad are coming for the summer, so I am kind of cleaning up the place."
Dobson said the subject of the vehicles had been mentioned to him often by his wife.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The view isn't pretty from most of the cars that have been turned in.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
"Every time she comes up the driveway she says, 'This place sure looks junky.' Now it looks a lot better."
Dobson said he was glad he had the chance to clean up his yard.
"It was good idea. I probably would have left them here if I would have had to do it the other way," he said.
Yellow and red signs led the way at the closed Kenai Landfill adjacent to the transfer facility where Holly Hastings, program coordinator, and Greg Berryman, Kenai impound attendant, waited for residents Saturday morning.
Hastings said three junk vehicles were brought in Friday, the first day of the program, and many others came to the area to "see what was going on." The vehicles were placed at the far end of the area to make room for the others expected to come in.
Berryman said getting residents to bring the vehicles in was the main objective.
"There has been some interest. I think it is just getting them motivated," he said.
A cloud of dust filled the air on the route to the collection site at the Soldotna landfill site a short time later. The same signs directed drivers to Robert Crowell, vehicle collector, who pointed to the seven vehicles that had been brought in during the first days of the collection. Crowell said the sunshine could be a factor in the amount brought in.
"It is a matter of getting people not to enjoy the sun as much and bring in their junk vehicles," he said.
Crowell said he thought the program made bringing in vehicles simpler that the usual way.
He said normally, when junk vehicles are brought in, the owner must fill out a checklist, drain all the fluid in the vehicle and take out the gas tank.
"With this program, all they have to do is get the vehicle here," he said.
The vehicles that had been brought in came in all sizes and shapes. Many were missing front ends, tires and various parts while others were smashed and mangled. One red Subaru, with seemingly only minor exterior defects, looked out of place but was accepted with the others. Hastings said there is no size limit for bringing in vehicles.
According to the borough, residents are allowed to bring five vehicles from a single property, location, business organization or individual. Once the vehicles are brought in, the borough will take the responsibility of removing batteries and fluid from them.
Crowell said the borough does want all garbage and nonautomotive items removed from the vehicle before the owner leaves.
Both the city of Kenai and the state of Alaska also have brought in vehicles. Hastings said there were lots of calls from people wanting to bring them in Monday.
Vehicles may not be delivered to the sites until the borough has been contacted and all vehicle disposal forms are completed and on file. Proof of ownership also is requested.
There is still time to deliver the junkers to the sites. Vehicles will be accepted through Sunday at the Kenai, Soldotna, Homer and Seward sites from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Residents are urged to call the borough to request vehicle disposal forms.
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