Island Green Living and Waste Management start composting program

Island Green Living Association, in cooperation with the V.I. Waste Management Authority, is launching a composting program to divert vegetative debris from landlls and instead make debris a valuable, usable resource for residents.

The program — the USVI Zero Waste Composting Pilot Program — aims to provide compost and mulch for the community through a Vermeer brush chipper, procured through a grant from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands and private donations.

The program is in the process of being designated as a Clinton Global Initiative Call to Action, according to a statement Friday from Island Green Living.

“Island Green has long advocated for recapturing our island’s usable ‘waste’ and seeing it for what it is — a valuable resource,” said Harith Wickrema, Island Green board president, in the statement. “With the help of Waste Management, our composting program will reduce tons of green and brown debris from being transported to the landll on St. Thomas resulting in signicant environment benet and nancial savings. The nal product will be utilized by farmers, residents and landscapers.”

Wickrema said the program will hopefully become permanent after a six-month pilot program.

Vegetative debris cut from the National Park, Public Works Department, local landscapers and homeowners gets put into satellite dumpsters around St. John and is mixed with other waste that ultimately heads to an overburdened landll on St. Thomas, according to the statement.

The USVI Zero Waste Composting Pilot Program aims to stop this cycle and allow the carbon source to remain on island to help regenerate the land.

The Bovoni landll on St. Thomas has less than two years capacity remaining and the Anguilla landll on St. Croix is slated to close next year.

The ultimate goal of Island Green’s composting program is to not only become permanent on St. John, but provide a roadmap for the rest of the territory and beyond.

Island Green Living plans to work with local schools to provide eld trips and educational programming for students.

Island Green Living is currently seeking two part-time workers for its waste reduction team: a brush chipping manager and laborer.

Training on the brush chipper will be provided. The brush chipping manager will operate and maintain the chipper and manage the laborer.

Brush chipping manager candidates should have experience with heavy equipment operation and supervisory capabilities. The laborer will be responsible for operating a chainsaw to cut brush into manageable pieces and feeding it into the chipper.

Those interested can learn more details and apply by contacting Executive Director Kelly Lawson at kelly@islandgreenliving.org or calling 340-998-4446.

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