*UPDATE – The landfill reopened Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 2:30 but will only accept regular household trash: No seaweed, brush or metal.
A fire broke out in the scrap metal section of Bovoni Landfill around 8:30 a.m. Monday from a car that had not had all its oils and chemicals drained out before dumping. As a result, the landfill is closed until further notice.
According to Waste Management Authority spokeswoman Melody Rames, the Fire Service and Waste Management Authority contractor’s Sleepy’s Trucking and A9 Trucking “are helping, working vigorously to suppress this fire. But as of this time, (5 p.m. Monday) the fire is still active.” Once the fire is controlled, the landfill will reopen, she said.
“This happens when vehicles are taken to the landfill and not detoxified as the law requires,” Rames said. “That includes removal of all engine fluids, batteries and tires,” she added.
This fire is still contained in the metals section of the landfill, she said.
“But this could be a very dangerous situation for the people who work at the landfills, both on St. Croix and St. Thomas,” she said, adding that a similar incident happened on St. Croix not long ago.
Rames said Waste Management just wants to make sure not only the public but the towing companies bringing the vehicles inside, are careful about how they bring in vehicles to keep the people working at the landfill safe.
She said rumors have circulated on social media that the trucking companies, who have been negotiating with Waste Management over past-due invoices, may have had a role in the fire.
“There is no truth to that whatsoever,” Rames said.