Nov. 29, 2001 – Until the Public Works Department either hires a driver for a truck on St. Thomas or finalizes a contract with a private hauler, St. John residents won't be able to dispose of their waste oil.
The routine procedure has been for people on St. John to deposit their old oil in the three igloos located at the entrance to the Susannaberg dump. But at the moment those igloos are full.
Public Works Commissioner Wayne D. Callwood said Thursday that both hiring a driver for the waste oil truck and arranging a contract with a private hauler are in the works. He said he expects the waste oil collection procedure to be running smoothly again in a couple of weeks.
According to Callwood, the government's contract with the company that picks up waste oil from Public Works igloos on St. Thomas does not extend to St. John. Since St. John does not have its own pump truck, the department's St. Thomas truck has usually come over to make pickups.
Ira Wade, deputy Public Works commissioner for St. John, said it typically takes two and a half to three months to fill the island's igloos. Until what's there now is picked up, "we can't take anything," he said.
Wade said the waste oil is sold to the Water and Power Authority or to Hovensa. Alex Moorhead, Hovensa vice president for government affairs and community relations, said the company burns the waste oil it buys as fuel.
WAPA spokeswoman Laurie Christian said the utility has been waiting eight years for the Public Works and Planning and Natural Resources Departments to come up with a procedure to test the oil before it can be burned. Callwood could not be reached for further comment on the testing situation.

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