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WMA to Replace Dumpsters with Transfer Stations

Aug. 25, 2005 – The V.I. Waste Management Authority plans to get rid of Dumpsters, said several of its staff members at a public meeting Thursday at Julius E. Sprauve School.
"We're looking to find areas to put transfer stations," Warrington Chapman, the agency's director of solid waste, told the three dozen people gathered for the meeting.
He made his remarks in response to a request by Coral Bay Community Council president Sharon Coldren that the agency do something about the unsightly bins located along Route 107 in Coral Bay.
"Our main Dumpster is located in the mangroves," she said.
In addition to creating environmental problems and looking ugly, she said it was in an unsafe location because people dropping off garbage could be hit by vehicles coming around a curve in the road.
Coldren urged the WMA to develop the transfer station soon before land available for this use is snapped up for some other purpose.
The WMA called the meeting to recruit volunteers to serve on its Citizen Advisory Committees. Staff members handed out applications, which will be available at the Legislature building for those who did not attend the meeting.
WMA director May Adams Cornwall said that she envisions the first of the committees to get underway in September. She said that each committee's activities will be tailored to the specific island's issues.
Those at the meeting also learned from Cornwall that the island's sewage treatment plant, which opened in 2001, is nearing capacity. The facility was dedicated Aug. 21, 2002.
In response to a question from Coldren, WMA engineer Charlie Bornman said that it could handle waste from the 100 new condominiums now under construction in Cruz Bay.
However, he said the agency did plan to expand the Cruz Bay plant, but needed to obtain the use of the adjacent land. It, and the land where the plant sits, is owned by the V.I. Port Authority.
After hearing a complaint about trash piled up around Sprauve School, Deputy Public Works Commissioner Ira Wade said that the school is in the midst of a major clean up. He said that his crews visit every day to haul it away.
Another complaint about garbage tossed at the Clarice Thomas Annex, located across the street from Sprauve School's Winston Wells Ballfield, prompted Alecia M. Wells to note that the trash didn’t come from school children. Instead, she said it comes from people who wait in front of the school for rides. Wade said he couldn't install a large bin to handle the trash because there wasn't room for a truck to pick it up.
St. John resident Barry Devine pointed out that he hasn't been anywhere in 20 years where there were no fees for garbage disposal.
"We need to pay for it so people will reduce the stream," he said.
Cornwall said that fees are coming, with some to be paid when the goods come into the territory.
Changes in attitude must go along with the new fees, several WMA staff members said.
"Over the years, people have had the habit of dumping indiscriminately," Chapman said.
He said that Virgin Islands residents produce 11.4 pounds per person a day of waste, with plastic heading the list of items in the waste stream.
St. John resident John Levering, who heads the St. John Recycling Forum, commended the WMA for its efforts. He said a lot of time people in authority do not reach out to the community for its input.
Contact the WMA at 773-4489.

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