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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, May 26, 2024


Dec. 28, 2001 – Although the Public Works Department is in the midst of revamping its waste oil collection system, the public still can dispose of oil at igloos and collection drums on St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John and Water Island.
On St. Thomas, however, only the igloo at the Public Works heavy equipment yard in Sub Base is available for do-it-yourself oil changers. It is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, excluding holidays. The igloos at the Bovoni landfill are closed because they were not properly maintained, according to Geraldine Smith, who recently began work as special waste program coordinator at Public Works.
On Water Island, a 55-gallon waste-oil collection drum at the transfer station is open. On St. Croix, waste oil can be dropped off at the Public Works facility in Concordia, outside Frederiksted, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. On St. John, waste oil can be dropped off at the igloo inside the gate at the Susannaberg transfer station, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Smith said Public Works is upgrading its waste-oil program so it will conform to federal guidelines,a project that should be finished in about three months. She said Public Works has secured some of the required permits from the Planning and Natural Resources Department but needs more site and vehicle permits, as well as certification for one driver to deal with hazardous materials. The department also needs to develop an oil spill prevention plan, she said.
Both Smith and Ira Wade, Public Works deputy commissioner for St. John, said the public needs educating on what can and cannot go into the igloos. What can go in is simple: only waste oil.
Antifreeze, gasoline, diesel fuel, cooking oil and rags should not be placed in the containers. The collected waste oil must pass a test for those contaminants before it can be burned as fuel. On St. John, "Our oil has never passed the test," Wade said.
Smith said the situation on St. Thomas is just as dire. She said the public needs educating about how to use the igloos. "A lot of people want to do what is right," she said.

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