I have just completed reading all the other articles on the Waste problem in St. Thomas. As I have voiced an idea of the perfect solution, it seems so does everyone else that has written a letter of opinion into The Source. I am going to offer you the readers some marketing facts and let you be the judge if Recycling would work to reduce waste on St. Thomas.
I would encourage a Buy Back Center for Recyclables, the present market rates for recyclables are as follows: Old Newspaper & Office Paper is $100.00 per ton, Aluminum Cans & Aluminum Items $1000.00 per ton, Scrap Steel & Iron $105.00 per ton and Scrap Plastics $80.00 per ton, which would include water bottles or any other plastic item.
The Buy Back Center would entice Individuals and businesses to simply sell the items rather then pay a Tipping Fee to dump them. All Wood Items could be dropped off for a reduced tipping fee to be ground into Mulch or Compost and would have a decorative or soil enrichment use. The Buy Back Center would create jobs and revenue for the Government of St. Thomas.
The remainder of the Waste could be baled and shipped off the Island to Landfills in the States, that have adequate air space to accommodate the waste for many years.
I did pay particular attention to the article about a Waste to Energy Plant, this is a proven method of disposal for non-recyclables. You must keep in mind that W.E.P. produces a residue known as Ash that must be disposed of in a special lined Landfill environment and needless to say we cannot forget the smoke and steam that emitted from this process.
The fore mentioned concept is being used today by many Towns on Long Island, New York and throughout the States with great success to reduce waste.
I would strongly suggest before the V.I. Waste Management Authority imposes the proposed tax on all goods entering St. Thomas, that they consider some of the other options. The tax would only increase to cost of goods to the consumers and businesses and never solve the waste problem.
Rockville Centre, New York
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