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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 2, 2022


Having gotten word that the Susannaberg compactor was back in service, several private St. John trash haulers showed up at the transfer station to unload refuse Monday, only to be turned away.
Public Works Deputy Commissioner Ira Wade said he hopes to allow the private haulers access by the end of the week, after he has new operating hours in place.
St. John administrator Julien Harley said there should be no more need for the private haulers to barge their collections to St. Thomas after Wednesday.
Officials closed the transfer station in November after the equipment used to compact solid waste for barging broke down. Since then, haulers collecting household trash on contract have been under orders from Public Works Commissioner Harold Thompson Jr. to transport the refuse to the Bovoni Landfill at their own expense.
Since completing the compactor repairs two weeks ago, Public Works crews have been processing about 100 cubic yards of household trash a day from the government collection runs, Wade said Monday.
Public Works officials initially said the transfer station would not reopen until April. But word that the compactor was up and running again spread quickly among the private haulers and "a couple of them showed up this morning," Wade said. He added, "They jumped the gun. They're a little anxious, but you can't blame them."
Harley reportedly drafted a letter to the haulers suspending the barging order but, after conferring with Wade, withheld its release.
According to Wade, private haulers will be able to make dropoffs at the transfer station weekdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Businesses that don't have private waste collection will be able to deposit their own trash during those hours, too, he said.
Wade said the cause of the compactor breakdown last fall was that rivets holding the feed chute together came apart as a result of overstress on the equipment. Now that the compactor is again in operation, he said, Public Works crews will be monitoring the volume of trash coming in and how efficiently it can be processed. He said the commissioner's office will utilize the data collected in setting new tipping fees.
At a public hearing in Cruz Bay in December, Thompson and Public Works waste manager Sonia Nelthropp had said the tipping fees would be instituted when the transfer station reopened.

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