82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 15, 2024


Sept. 19, 2002 – The expansion of the Anti-litter and Beautification Commission's recycling program means that St. Thomas and St. John residents now can add glass, corrugated cardboard, office paper and newspaper to the list of materials they can save up for sending back into circulation.
The commission has for some time recycled aluminum cans and clear No. 1 plastic bottles.
"Our environment is dependent on lessening the amount of things that go into the Bovoni landfill," says Cordell Jacobs, director of the Anti-litter and Beautification Commission on St. Thomas and St. John.
The landfill is fast filling up, he says, but whatever residents can do to keep items from ending up there will extend its life. He and the commission's recycling coordinator, Caroline Browne, were appalled to see what goes to the landfill that could better end its life elsewhere.
Yard trimmings and fruit and vegetable peels are a good case in point. Residents put them into plastic bags and throw them in trash bins. The plastic bags prevent the speedy decomposition of the plant material, and the bags themselves don't decompose for ages.
Instead, Browne suggests, pile the trimmings in a corner of a yard or throw them and the peelings down the hill into the bush, where they will quickly rot or animals will carry them away.
Browne said Virgin Islanders need to adjust their mindset to recycle and re-use items that now go into the garbage, and thereby reduce the volume of material thrown away. "Our elders re-used and recycled," she says, noting that it was common to see cracker tins recycled into pots for plants.
Jacobs says he's so enthusiastic about recycling that he's not shy about checking out the contents of friends' garbage cans so he can advise them on ways to recycle. While he and Brown didn't mention the plastic grocery bag problem, recycling mavens know that taking your own canvas bags with you to the supermarket will help cut the number of "disposable" plastic ones that can rapidly pile up in your home.
People who recycle won't get rich at it, but it's the right thing to do, Jacobs says. The commission pays 50 cents a pound for aluminum cans and 25 cents a pound for all other items.
Aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles should be rinsed, and the plastic bottles should have their caps removed. Cardboard must have staples and tape removed and then be flattened.
Jacobs said all of the materials now up for recycling except for the glass gets shipped off-island. The commission is looking at ways to use recycled glass locally. Crushed glass is "good for a base mixture when building roads, and it makes good backfill," he says.
On St. Thomas and St. John, the Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission has hired Zahn's to replace Sanitary Trash Removal Services for the intake of recyclable items, Jacobs says, because Zahn's was willing to expand the list of items recycled.
To get its recycling messages out to the public, the commission is airing programs on local radio stations — at 10:45 a.m. Mondays on WGOD, at 8:45 a.m. Wednesdays on WSTA and at 7:25 a.m. Fridays on WVWI.
The commission also is planning to sponsor a recycling fair on Oct. 5 at PriceSmart. Browne said a program will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and displays and information on recycling will be available to the public all day, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. She said the fair will feature displays of items from the trash that have been turned into "treasures."
Recycling at the library level
Browne will be taking her message about "re-using, reducing and recycling" to the Children's Room at the Enid M. Baa Library on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
As a special guest for the library's weekly Children's Reading Program, Browne will guide the youngsters present in determining ways that they and other library patrons can recycle while at the library, out and about in the community, at school and at home.
"Public libraries may have indeed been one of the first organizations to recycle," Baa's head librarian, Diane Moody, points out. "They collected, sorted and housed books to be used over and over again by many users." For more information about Saturday's program and other Children's Room operations, call Moody or Audrey Muriel at 774-0630.
Recycling intake: when and where
On St. Thomas, Zahn's recycling intake is on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at PriceSmart and Lockhart Gardens and on Fridays, same hours, at the cricket field next to Ivanna Eudora Kean High School. On Sundays, from 2 to 6 p.m., you can drop your recyclables off at the USO building on the Charlotte Amalie waterfront.
On St. John, Zahn's is at the public tennis courts from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays.
On St. Croix, Community Recycling collects non-ferrous metals at its location on Queen Mary Highway in Anna's Hope. It also holds the contract to recycle aluminum cans for the Boys and Girls Club of St. Croix. The company pays 25 cents a pound for aluminum cans and various prices for other metals. Drop-off is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Non-ferrous metals include copper, brass and materials found in radiators and condensers, aluminum window frames, and insulated wire. If you have a question about whether a metal item is recyclable, call Community Recycling at 778-0100.

Publisher's note : Like the St. John Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.