St. John, USVI – October 17, 2022 – An exciting milestone has been reached as Island Green Living’s first load of ocean-bound plastic sets sail for recycling partner, PADNOS. The ground-breaking collaboration was announced during a ribbon-cutting in February attended by Governor Albert Bryan Jr., Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory and Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett, among other dignitaries. More than 27,000 lbs. of material has been collected by Island Green Living on St. John since then, including 13,906 lbs. of disposable plastics and approximately 433,300 aluminum cans. These recyclables are now heading for the Michigan-based recycler. PADNOS will then process the material and sell it to end-users where it will gain a new lease on life and fulfill the circular economy model.
This is the first of what will be many loads of ocean-bound plastics collected on St. John. To date, Island Green Living’s aluminum recycling program has saved 1.9 million aluminum cans from the landfill, a volume which has increased significantly with PADNOS.
“We are grateful to our partner PADNOS, one of the top recyclers in the US, for their donation of equipment and other assistance which helped get our commercial level recycling program off the ground,” said Harith Wickrema, president of Island Green Living. “It is vital that we continue to turn ‘waste’ into a resource, an endeavor that would not be possible without our dedicated staff, volunteers and donors.”
Before being baled and loaded for shipment, the recyclables are collected via key pickup locations around the island, sorted and crushed at Island Green Living’s facilities. Through the cooperation of VI Waste Management (VIWMA), Island Green Living picks up recyclables at three popular trash collection sites on St. John where specially marked receptacles have been placed. The public can conveniently deposit their RINSED recyclable #1, 2 & 5 plastics and aluminum cans.
The locations are as follows:
Cruz Bay: Main VIWMA site across from EC Gas Station & Alfredo’s Landscaping
Gifft Hill Road: VIWMA site just past Gifft Hill School
Coral Bay: Main VIWMA site across from Love City Mini Mart
Additionally the community can drop off recyclables at Island Green Living’s ReSource Depot located behind VITEMA on Gifft Hill Road just off Centerline and at Connections in Cruz Bay.
Most commonly used plastics have a resin code listed somewhere on the material, typically on the bottom. Island Green Living can accept #1, 2 and 5 plastics which include items such as water & soda bottles, some food containers, peanut butter jars, milk jugs, shampoo & detergent bottles, yogurt containers, etc. Caps can be recycled but should be removed from containers. Styrofoam and items like plastic utensils, bags, etc. CANNOT be accepted.
Island Green Living has an 18-year history of sustainable programming and conservation on St. John. All told, the organization’s ReSource Depot thrift shop has kept 700,000 pounds of building and other materials out of landfills. The nonprofit has worked closely on banning plastic bags, straws and toxic sunscreen and other environmental legislation as well as issues such a food security.
Island Green Living Association is a registered 501 (c)(3) not for profit organization on St. John dedicated to sustainability throughout the USVI. www.islandgreenliving.org.