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WMA Director Seeks Input on Waste Management Plan

May 18, 2006 – St. John's wastewater treatment plant is nearing capacity, Waste Management Authority Director May Adams Cornwall said at a town meeting Thursday held at Julius E. Sprauve School.
"We'll have to put another tank in, or we'll have to have a moratorium," she told the Source.
She said she advised the V.I. Port Authority that the agency will need a small piece of its land at Enighed Pond that sits adjacent to the plant.
The plant was dedicated in 2002, but St. John's extensive development in recent years has used up capacity once expected to last for many years.
The WMA called the meeting to drum up interest among residents in forging an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan for St. John. Consultant Claudette Young-Hinds said it would take one half-day session and two shorter sessions to develop the plan.
Cornwall said that while people initially signed up to work on the plan, only a few have actually put in any effort.
"Whether there's input or not, St. John's plan will be written," Young-Hinds said.
She said the plan should be done in June because Citizen Advisory Committees on St. Thomas and St. Croix already completed their plans.
Young-Hinds suggested that St. John residents weren't getting involved because the island doesn't feel the same sort of waste management crunch experienced by the other two islands.
She said that the very few people active on the Citizen Advisory Committee said that the WMA should address immediate issues to get other residents interested.
"One of those things was tires," she said.
She said that when Planning and Natural Resources Department officers threatened St. John businesses with stiff fines if they didn't deal with their accumulation of used tires, the authority agreed to ship them off island.
Additionally, the agency has readied batteries for shipping off island.
St. John resident Elvis Marsh suggested that the WMA not ship yard waste to the Bovoni landfill on St. Thomas, which is where all St. John's garbage winds up.
"You're removing St. John's topsoil," Marsh said.
WMA employee John Green said studies show that 30 percent of the material that goes to the landfill is yard waste.
After a discussion on what to do with yard waste, Marsh said he was interested in setting up a business to chip it.
"I'm interested in talking with you about that," Cornwall said.
In response to a question from St. John resident Barry Devine, Cornwall said there were no plans afoot to make recycling mandatory.
"Groups on St. Thomas and St. Croix said voluntary beats mandatory," Young-Hinds added.
However, Devine pointed out that in most places, recycling is mandatory.
Cornwall said the agency has no litter enforcement officers on St. John. This prompted a discussion on whose responsibility it was to enforce the anti-litter laws.
Sen. Craig Barshinger suggested that the police take on that duty.
And Cornwall urged residents to make reports when they see people littering.
For more information about the Solid Waste Management Plan, contact the WMA at 773-4489.
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