Final round of meetings to be held on waste fees


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V.I. Waste Management Authority officials will be presenting a plan for special waste tipping fees at a series of public meetings starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday on St. Croix.

Waste Management Authority spokeswoman Stella Saunders said the final proposal will be submitted to the V.I. Public Services Commission at the end of the month.

She said the meetings are open to the public, but the authority is specifically inviting local retailers who will be directly affected by the new fees.

The authority held sparsely attended meetings last fall to let the public know they were developing the fees, and used the public's input to help draft the latest document.  

The Waste Management Authority expects to collect up to $2.5 million a year through the fees to help cover the cost of shipping and disposing of fluorescent tubes; electronics; white goods, such as refrigerators, washers and dryers; oil; tires; and vehicles.

In November, Waste Management said the fee on vehicles would be charged when a vehicle is first registered and then again each year as part of the annual renewal process.

Illegally dumped waste forces the Waste Management Authority to pay permitted haulers to take it off-island and have it disposed of or recycled.

The fees are part of a five-year plan to make the Waste Management Authority self-sustaining. By adding the fees, tipping fees and residential user fees, the Waste Management Authority plans to collect directly from its users and eliminate its dependence on the General Fund, according to the authority. At meetings last fall, retailers said the imposition of fees at import would create an unfair burden to them and raise the cost of living in the territory, as this cost would be passed on to consumers.

The meetings are scheduled:

St. Croix - 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Education's Curriculum Center.

St. Thomas - 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Windward Passage Hotel.                      

St. John - 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 25, Legislative Conference Room, Cruz Bay.              

For more information, call 715-9100 or 690-4218.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

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