Island Green Offers First Ever Municipal Brush Chipping Program on St. John
Island Green’s Brush Chipping Pilot Program was created to keep a vital resource – vegetative debris – from filling the territory’s already overflowing landfills, instead allowing it to be put to good use on St. John. The program, which was designated a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action and is funded through Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands grants and private donations, cuts the island’s carbon footprint and advances resilience in the aftermath of future hurricanes. The ultimate goal of Island Green’s program is to not only become permanent on St. John but provide a roadmap for similar programs on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
Prior to the start of the Brush Chipping Pilot Program, green and brown debris was either mixed with other waste and barged to Bovoni landfill on St. Thomas or pushed over the ravine at the back of the Susannaberg Transfer Station on St. John. Brush Chipping stops this cycle.
Phase two of Island Green’s groundbreaking Brush Chipping Pilot Program is now underway. The first phase in 2020 chipped more than 1,500 cubic yards of brush. It got its start with the purchase of a powerful Vermeer Brush Chipper, with shipping and delivery compliments of Crowley Logistics, Boyson Inc. and local trucker Michael Marsh. The Iowa State University EARTH Program, managed by Dr. David Minner, used an ISU Capstone class to develop the plan that served as the basis for this pilot program. Dr. Minner is an Island Green board member and has been a key player in the success of the venture.
This latest phase will not only include the eventual sale of mulch and compost, allowing the project to become self-sustaining, but it will provide critical feed stock for a one-year composting demonstration project with Sustainable Generation (SG) and Gore. The SG Mobile™ System with GORE® Cover produces compost in just two months and could fundamentally change the way the entire territory handles organic waste while providing valuable vocational training.