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Smith Bay Residents Balk at Trash Plan

Nov. 30, 2005 — The removal of garbage bins from the bottom of Cassi Hill may cause problems for residents, said members of the Smith Bay community.
Approximately 30 Smith Bay residents attended a meeting held Tuesday evening by the Waste Management Authority at the Apostolic Faith Mission Church to discuss the removal of trash bins in the area. The meeting was the second in a series of meetings designed to get residents' input on alternative methods of trash collection (See, "Residents Not in Favor of Trash Bin Removal").
Residents said they didn't mind moving the bins, as long as others were placed throughout the neighborhood. However, May Adams-Cornwall, Waste Management's executive director, said any new bins will only remain temporarily until a transfer station—which compacts trash deposited by residents before hauling to the Bovoni landfill—can be built in Smith Bay. Once the station is up and running, she said, the bins will be completely removed and the authority will continue with its plan to eliminate as many bin sites on the island as possible.
Smith Bay resident Deidrick Hodge said the authority should keep the temporary bin sites because the Smith Bay area is large and residents generate a "great amount" of trash. He said the bins at Cassi Hill were used by the entire community, as well as residents outside Smith Bay, and more bins were needed in order to make sure the area was clean.
Hodge added that the house-to-house pick up system recently implemented in Smith Bay by the WMA does not ensure that all the trash is collected, since rocky terrain and narrow roads keep many collection trucks from accessing a significant number of houses in the area. "We really need more bin sites that are centrally located so people can dump their trash—we don't need the bins to be removed completely," he said.
Warrington Chapman, director of Solid Waste at the WMA, told Hodge the removal of bin sites would allow the authority to control St. Thomas' trash problem, and the transfer station would keep residents from having to go the landfill. "St. Thomas generates the most trash in all the Leeward Islands," he said. "We have 26 bin sites, where trash is overflowing, and hard to manage. We have to do something about it."
Smith Bay resident John Lynton said the authority should keep the bins at Cassi Hill in place until something else is implemented. Otherwise people will be dumping their trash everywhere, he said. Adams-Cornwall said the authority was mandated to remove the bins because Hugh Pemberton, owner of the land on which the bins sit, is going to develop the property.
Chapman added the authority has implemented a spot-a-bin program where bins are placed in areas of the community on certain days at certain times. Since the bins at Cassi Hill are supposed to be removed, another bin is currently located at the bottom of Three Road. However, this bin is only available on Monday and Wednesday evenings, with collection early on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. To narrow the gap between collection times residents suggested the days either be switched to Tuesday and Friday, or Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Residents also suggested bins be put up in the Coki Point, Water Gap Condominiums, and Pillsbury Heights areas.
Nobody volunteered when Chapman asked residents whether they could donate property for bin sites. However, there was a suggestion to put the transfer station on property next to the Smith Bay cemetery.
Adams-Cornwall said another meeting will be held with the Smith Bay community to take more suggestions for bin site and transfer station locations. She also said next time residents should bring information on any available property.
Chapman rounded off the meeting by talking about the Authority's efforts to stop bulk waste from being deposited in bin sites meant for household trash. Chapman said the authority plans to put out bins specifically designed for bulk waste, and the community will be notified as to what days and times the bins will be out. In the meantime, he encouraged residents to give Waste Management a call whenever they have bulk waste. "We can come and pick it up, or you can rent a bin for the day," he said. "Either way that keeps things like refrigerators, stoves, tree branches and yard debris from piling up at the bin sites."
For more information on bulk waste collection, or to sign up for house-to-house collection, call 776-4844 and ask for the Solid Waste Division.

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