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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 21, 2024


The Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission's Clean and Preen workers cleaning up Benner Bay uncovered massive amounts of debris and abandoned appliances including not a kitchen sink but eight bathtubs. The bay cleanup, which started July 11, ended Monday afternoon.
Of the 122 youths enrolled in this summer's Clean and Preen program, 56 were assigned to the East End St. Thomas bay and lagoon area project. According to a press release from the Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission, these students removed staggering amounts of trash and heavy debris, including hazardous batteries and containers of oil.
Along with the bathtubs, other large items removed included seven boat engines, 29 car engines, 31 refrigerators, 16 car doors and a truck axle. The most numerous items collected were beverage cans – 1,165 of them. A total of 631 bags of garbage was retrieved.
The Clean and Preen crew toted all of the debris to the roadside, where a backhoe provided by the Planning and Natural Resources Department loaded it onto trucks to be taken to the Bovoni landfill. The youths separated the batteries and galvanized aluminum they collected from the other debris, and these items were taken to designated sections of the landfill.
Although the Benner Bay project ended Monday, as of Wednesday the crew still had one more load of debris from another project to take to the landfill, according to Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission executive director Geraldine Smith.
Food and beverages for the students during the three weeks of Clean and Preen work were donated by St. Thomas Dairies, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of the V.I., Caribbean Auto Mart (pizzas) and the Education Department's Special Nutrition Program. Sens. Lorraine Berry and Almando "Rocky" Liburd donated round-trip tickets for all of the participants to travel to St. John and visit the environmentally friendly Maho Bay Camps.
According to Smith, a lot of abandoned boats, appliances and other debris remain in the Benner Bay Lagoon area. But what the students were able to remove has opened up much-needed space for the mangroves, she said.
For more information about the bay and lagoon cleanup and other ALBC projects, call the commission at 777-0373.

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