Monday, June 12, 2006

Beautify CNMI in the News

Saipan Tribune, Sunday, June 11, 2006

Group: 18,000 junk cars on the island
Story by Ferdie de la Torre

There are an estimated 18,000 junk cars scattered all over the island, according to the Beautify CNMI's subcommittee on junk goods. Most of them are on private lots, auto shops, and other places.

Tony Benavente said his subcommittee wants to eliminate environmental hazard and risk by reducing the number of junk cars, scrap metals, household appliances on roadways and residential area on Saipan.

The subcommittee's concern is lack of adequate funding for the proper equipment to remove these 18,000 junk cars and scrap metals, said Benavente, who is representing the Saipan Mayor's Office, during Friday's official launching of the Beautify CNMI.

Beautify CNMI is an environmental coalition of different government agencies and private sector.

Steve Hiney of the Department of Public Works agreed with Benavente's estimate of junked cars on the island.

Hiney and Benavente also cited the lack of land that could be used as storage/disposal area for these junk goods.

Benavente said that two weeks ago, they had a meeting with a potential company in Guam that is ready to collect and ship out these cars off-island.

"At this time, we are in the early stage. What we are trying to do right now is identify the places where we usually find junk cars," he said.

If everything goes well, Benavente said, probably by late November or early December the hauling of these cars as well as scrap metals will start.

In the meantime, Benavente said they are advising the owners of these junk cars to be ready when the times comes for the chosen firm to pick these items up.

He said he has seen places were junk cars are piled up as the shops closed and leave the cars.

"Just like a couple of months ago, there was a guy trying to have the Mayor's Office get rid of probably 15 junk cars from the person that leased the place from him. But we could not do it because in the first place that was a commercial establishment," he added.

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