Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang expects to see an increase in the number of junk cars after his office recently renewed its effort to rid the island of abandoned vehicles that are eyesores and health hazards in the community.
Apatang noted in an interview with Saipan Tribune yesterday that he is expecting a higher number of requests coming in to take care of abandoned cars, especially since Super Typhoon Yutu cleanup is ongoing.
Apatang’s office reactivated the junk car collection program last week after it got pushed to the side in order to prioritize the office’s cleanup effort following Yutu.
“When you drive around [Saipan] there are a lot of cars smashed up,” said Apatang. “We are just waiting for the owners to [ask us] to pick them up.”
Junk cars are then brought to a third-party recycling center before it is prepared for scrap metal recycling.
“We were concentrating on the typhoon first. Now that our dump truck is out of the shop and there are a lot of requests for junk car removals, we are working on that now also,” he said.
Saipan Mayor’s Office field operations director Joann Aquino told Saipan Tribune that junk car removal requests have started to pile into a large backlog.
“…We have a lot of junk car removal requests since October 2018, when we have been full force in debris collection across Saipan, and not on junk car removal,” she said.
The office’s lone claw truck was used for debris removal instead of the usual junk car removal.
Aquino said the claw truck could hold up to two cars at a time and is usually working with an 8-cubic yard dump truck, which could fit about two cars as well.
From Oct. 26, 2018, up to Feb. 3, 2019, the Saipan Mayor’s Office has collected over 102,000 cubic yards of debris from Yutu.
“We are trying to catch up and go back to our previous requests that were filed. We are trying to address those requests,” she said. “We started in As Lito and Gualo Rai.”
As of yesterday, their staff had completed removing junk cars in As Lito.
To get a junk car removed, you may call the Saipan Mayor’s Office to submit a request at 234-6208.