The V.I. Waste Management Authority will soon be saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the cost of transporting waste from the Susannaberg Transfer Station to St. Thomas’ Bovoni Landfill thanks to the construction of a tipping floor.
WMA’s Board of Directors, at its July 30 meeting, unanimously approved a measure authorizing a contract with Rumina Construction LLC to construct the tipping floor.
The tipping floor will consist of a concrete slab where garbage trucks can dump their loads, which will then be sorted and pushed off the tipping floor into various containers.
Metals and various other bulk waste items will be sorted and transported to St. Thomas’ Bovoni Landfill as usual. Remaining garbage will be compacted before being transported.
“What we’re looking to do is turn about four normal garbage bins into a single load by using the compactor,” explained WMA’s Chief Engineer Jim Grum. “The savings will be in the transportation of the trash. We’ll reduce transportation costs by about 75 percent, because the trash is being sorted and compacted prior to transportation.”
The tipping floor contract has been awarded to Rumina Construction LLC. Costs will not exceed $271,128 and will be paid from revenues awarded in a fiscal year 2010 U.S. Department of Interior grant, according to a WMA press release.
Grum expects construction to begin sometime in the next two months, and the tipping floor should take about five months to complete.
“We’ll keep doing business as usual, which is bascially transporting a lot of bins of uncompacted material, until the facility is built,” said Grum.
Currently, VIWMA spends about $94,000 per month for the collection and transportation of solid waste from the island of St. John to the Bovoni Landfill on St. Thomas.
Grum estimates the tipping floor will save Waste Management about a quarter million dollars each year in transportation costs.