CONTRACTORS have begun a long-awaited St Mary's operation to rid the Isles of Scilly of one of its greatest blights.
The contractors last week started bagging refuse at the island's waste manage-ment site at Moorwell in advance of shipping it to the mainland.
United Environmental Solutions (UES) are working on the unsightly refuse pile which is commonly derided as The Moorwell Alp.
It is believed that 400 sealed bags, 2m high and 1m in diameter, will be filled before the operation is complete before the end-of-March completion date, each weighing around 0.8 tonnes.
Teignmouth Marine Services' chartered vessel, the 60m, 12,000-tonne self-load all-weather MV Burhou was expected to dock today to ship out the waste to Plymouth.
From there the waste will go either to Liskeard landfill or to Newton Abbot.
Two types of refuse from the site, whose perimeter has been fenced to contain disturbed vermin, are to be shipped out.
One is construction, demolition waste, and rubble, while there is also shredded wood and household waste.
UES will transport the bagged waste via Hugh Town to a quay that is fighting to recover from a surface ravaged in the recent storms.
Concreting is gradually supplanting the ripped-up tiles, many of which went over the side and into the harbour.
These have been brought up, painstakingly, by divers and have since been bought by islanders for private driveway paving.
Containers for storage have taken the place of the wrecked lean-to shed by the sea wall.