An update on past news

Tuesday, September 21, 1999

Kauai junk cars

PUHI, Kauai -- Work has begun on a $1 million junk car processing facility to replace the last private junkyard on Kauai, which went out of business in January 1996.

Project coordinator Troy Tanigawa said the new processing plant should be open in March. It is being built by Kauai Builders on the same site the county has been using to store junk vehicles already processed by a private contractor.

A request for bids for a contractor to run the facility should go out this month, Tanigawa said. The county originally was going to buy its own crusher but has decided to pay the contractor to provide one.

The county has managed to keep up with junk cars abandoned along public roads and has taken some junkers off of private land. But hundreds more are hidden in the guinea grass on former sugar land and are only discovered when there is a brush fire.

Inoperable vehicles are a common sight on front yards in many residential areas.

No one knows for sure, but it is believed at least 3,500 cars have been abandoned on Kauai since the closure of the junkyard left residents with nowhere to take cars that were beyond repair.

Kauai's junk car crisis became national news this year with reports from The Wall Street Journal, CNN and radio commentator Paul Harvey.

Anthony Sommer, Star-Bulletin

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