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Better Solutions Are Needed for Waste Management

Dear Source:
I am so against the VI Waste Management Authority's proposed user fees! They have no proper recycling plan. If they are going to charge by the pound for items brought into the territory they need to charge by the weight of the empty containers or packaging that the items come in. How will people be able to afford to build a home? How will people be able to afford to live here?
My dogs recycle 43 lbs of the 44 lb bag their food comes in. All of the cans and containers are dumped – not what comes in them. Their fee structure is outrageous. It shall put a heavier financial burden on all of us. The highest price for gas in the U.S. is in San Francisco – $3.30 a gallon. When was the last time we saw gas prices at $3.30? It's now close to $4.00 a gallon and we shall probably see it go even higher. WAPA wants a 30% increase. I am now paying double for electric from 4 yrs ago. We have had increases for telephone and cable over the years. Remember when we used to pay $21.00 monthly for local phone service? The ferry services already want to increase their fares, again. We are waiting to see what the bottom line on property taxes shall be.
I do not see my tax dollars at work! Where does the money go? I drive on roads filled with potholes and bad lighting with no sidewalks. I do not have access to public transportation in the north-side area where I live. When I have to take the garbage out, I need to make a special trip or plan my route where there are actually dumpsters. I can drive from where I live to k-Mart using Hull Bay, St. Peter Mountain, or Mafolie/Skyline roads without a dumpster in sight.
Instead of taking away the dumpsters, they should have more of them with specified containers for recycling paper, cans, plastics, appliances, shrubbery, etc They could have web cams set up at the sites or on-site personnel to help with compliance. Charge heavy fines to those persons/companies that don't comply. I have made trips to the Bovoni dump when I have had to dispose of appliances, etc. It's disgusting but I do it, anyway. There is much government owned land all around on all 3 islands to install dumpster recycling sites. In the states, (and many other countries) townships supply the containers for recycling and pick up twice weekly funded by their tax dollars and small user fees. They have wood-chippers where you can bring your yard debris to get them shredded into mulch – for free and you can keep the mulch.
We need to have educational information distributed throughout all the public and private schools and to the public on how and what and where to recycle. We need composting bins available for sale to the general public for personal use, at reasonable prices. We need our Senators to find alternate funding for WMA. What we don't need is to increase the already exorbitant cost of living for every single one of us with the WMA user fees.
Please call the PSC or show up at the meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 5 p.m., at Barbel Plaza and voice your concerns. If the PSC is really concerned about the public they are charged with serving, they will postpone any vote on this issue until the WMA can come up with better solutions.
Alana Mawson
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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