Program keeps cars out of the landfill, woods


Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Junked vehicles dotting landscapes across the Kenai Peninsula Borough are steadily being removed through a continuing program meant to rid communities of the metal eyesores.

A removal effort at the Homer Baling Facility recently ended after successfully processing approximately 400 dilapidated and abandoned cars and trucks, according to Solid Waste Director Bob Garlock.

Meanwhile, the borough has just signed a contract with Alaska Auto Transport, of Palmer, which will operate a crusher to consolidate and remove still more junk vehicles at the Central Peninsula Landfill.

Since Garlock was hired in mid-2006, some 1,200 junk vehicles have been removed from the peninsula. Earlier this year, 240 vehicles were removed from the Central Peninsula landfill. The latest contract is the second operation there this year, Garlock said.

Typically, the borough charges commercial haulers $10 per vehicle when they are dropped off at the landfills. However, that fee is waived through Oct. 31, as is a 10-vehicle limit.

There is no fee for private individuals bringing in vehicles. Borough residents can drop off junk vehicles at the landfill providing the vehicles have been properly prepared.

Essentially that means drained of fluids with batteries, gas tanks and trash removed. A complete list of preparation requirements can be obtained from the Solid Waste Department at 262-9667.

Earlier this year, Garlock noted it was financially advantageous to remove junk vehicles because of high scrap metal prices.

"That's still the case," he said. "The borough is really encouraging people to do it at this point. The value of scrap metal is basically paying for the program."

The borough has some incidental costs, but crushing contractors are making their profit from the sale of the scrap. The borough is paying nothing to have the scrap hauled away, he said.

Crushed vehicles are periodically shipped to Anchorage where they are loaded aboard barges headed for the Lower 48.

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