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Saturday, June 25, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesREADER SKEPTICAL OF GOV’T GARBAGE PLAN

READER SKEPTICAL OF GOV’T GARBAGE PLAN

I lived in St. Thomas throughout the 1970s and now live in Fairfax, Virginia. In Fairfax I have the garbage and recyclables picked up weekly at my home. When living in St. Thomas I dropped everything off at the nearest bin.
Now I read that Public Works in the V.I. is planning "house-to-house garbage collection." Does that mean picking up the garbage at one house and delivering it to the house next door? Hopefully not, but just how does an agency of the cash-strapped Virgin Islands government expect to do now what it could not do 30 years ago, when it was still collecting night soil in the Savan?
I remember the Daily News running a picture in that era of a garbage bin on Frenchman's Hill that had been overflowing and in need of pickup for a week or more. Perhaps a more reasonable solution might be the one suggested by a former DJ (Harvey Wallbanger?) on a local radio station. His idea was to put the garbage on a bunch of barges, plant palm trees and Coki-style bars on them, and haul them up to New York and other northern cities where they could generate revenue as tropical beach paradises in, say, the East River or Boston Harbor, that could be reached without the need to pay tribute to Pan Am.
He didn't mention, or at least I don't recall it, the lost opportunities for gaining revenue for the islands through the sale of duty-free rum and glittering gold. However, there may well be something in the old treaty with Denmark that would consider a ship, or garbage-laden barge, under the V.I. flag as a sort of seaborne duty-free port.
Thinking back a paragraph to that "need to pay tribute to Pan Am," could not the water transport from Manhattan or Boston's Back Bay be handled by a Virgin Islands water taxi company supplied with assorted tax incentives? Are those old Russian-built hydrofoils that were going to run tourists from Charlotte Amalie to Hans Lollick still lying fallow down there?
Seems to me there are a lot of possibilities here for entrepreneurs from the Midwest and elsewhere.
John Thompson
Fairfax, Virginia

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