Hundreds of abandoned vehicles at toxic junkyard in Wahiawa set to be removed

An environmentalist said the abandoned cars are a major hazard to the environment and have...
An environmentalist said the abandoned cars are a major hazard to the environment and have created a toxic wasteland.(Carroll Cox)
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 6:00 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Clean up efforts are underway after a large wildfire burned through an illegal dumping site in Wahiawa.

Officials said the blaze on Monday burned through more than 50 acres along Kamehameha Highway near Poamoho.

Following the aftermath of the brush fire, hundreds of burned skeletons of cars were revealed, which were apparently part of an illegal dump site and chop shop at a former pineapple field.

Schnitzer Steel, a metal recycling company, offered to remove the over 1,000 vehicles at the Poamoho junkyard.

Environmentalist Carroll Cox said the company contacted him, and he got clearance from the state Health Department for the cleanup.

Cox said the abandoned cars are a major hazard to the environment and have created a toxic wasteland.

“Most of the cars have been illegally decanted and that means removed the fuel, the fluids. And then you just allow it to flow into the ground,” said Cox, who is part of Envirowatch Inc.

“The hydraulics and what have you — it’s still in the soil, and when you have fires there’s a chance of having furans and dioxide.”

Officials said work to remove the vehicles is expected to begin as early as next week.

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