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Plastic Recycling has Arrived in Love City!

Plastic Recycling has Arrived in Love City!

A few weeks ago, I updated you all about a great way to cut down on your plastic waste while you are visiting St. John.  Ditch the disposable single use plastic bottles and refill your gallons!  Well, a lot of you were wondering why we don’t have recycling on island.  Well, the short answer is, we do…It’s just not as easy or as widespread as it is in the states.  Up until a week ago, Island Green Living Association only accepted aluminum cans through their non-profit owned and operated, grass roots recycling program.  But, that’s all about to change.  Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time ever, please give a big round of applause to Island Green for bringing plastic recycling to St. John!

On December 17, Island Green Living Association announce via their Facebook page that the small organization (five employees!) with a BIG impact had successfully collected and crushed ONE MILLION aluminum cans since the program’s inception three years earlier!  What an incredible accomplishment for the good of the “green” of our island 🙂  To honor this milestone, Senator Donna Frett-Gregory visited the site of the recycling center and the ReSource Depot, St. John’s not for profit thrift store, to see the operations and celebrate this step in the right direction of waste management.

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Pictured are ReSource Manager Kat Bodish, Operations Manager Anthony Novelli, Senator Frett-Gregory, Executive Director Kelly McKinney and President Harith Wickrema.

Earlier in 2021, the ReSource Depot celebrated a similarly magnificent milestone.  The small warehouse space and several 20-40 foot containers scattered throughout the gravel parking lot at the Island Green sustainable living space on Gifft Hill (behind Tony’s kitchen) announced that it had diverted over 650,000 POUNDS of waste from the islands’ landfills since their inception in 2012.

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Drop off your gently used items or shop for new treasures at the ReSource Depot!

So, over one million cans and 650,000 pounds of waste that DON’T currently reside in the landfills in the Virgin Islands, thanks to Island Green and their hardworking team.  Pretty amazing, right?  Well, they aren’t done yet….

Last week. the local non-profit organization announced that THEY ARE NOW COLLECTING PLASTIC FOR RECYCLING at their Gifft Hill Facility!  I want to quickly note that MANY of you readers out there contributed to the advancement of this program via your raffle ticket purchases last year.  Together, we raised over $100,000 for Island Green…So, give yourself a round of applause as well!

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If you have ever visited us, you know how difficult it is to avoid single use plastics on island.  And these plastics are the WORST kind of waste.  They don’t decompose in a marine environment such as glass and aluminum do over time.  And they pose a significant threat to marine life in their uncanny ability to be left behind and washed out to sea or fly off the barge as our trash is transported to St. Thomas.  Plastic is the WORST but it is semi unavoidable.  Especially here on island.  And I am SO excited to be making this announcement about the recycling of plastic today.  And for the first time EVER on St. John!

Here’s how it works…

  •  They are accepting ONLY #1, #2 and #5 plastics at this time.  Please refer to the bottom of the container in question to find the corresponding number.  If there is no number they will not accept it.

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  • Examples of acceptable items are water, juice & soda bottles, food containers, milk and water jugs, detergent, shampoo & lotion bottles, yogurt containers, pill bottles, etc.
  • Please DO NOT include things like Styrofoam, plastic to-go cups, cutlery or plastic bags.
  • Plastic containers must be cleaned and the lids must be removed (but, do include them in your bag!).  Please separate your plastic from your aluminum if dropping off both.
  • The items may be brought to the facility in plastic bags.  I generally use plastic grocery bags if I have them in order to get a second use out of them before they are trash 🙂
  • The Sustainable Living Facility where you can drop off plastics, aluminum and gently used items is located on Gifft Hill Road just behind Tony’s Kitchen and the VITEMA building.  Their hours of operation are 9AM-2PM Tuesday-Saturday

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Oh, and one more thing!  The Island Green team is looking for an artist to volunteer to paint the name on the side of their facility.  If you are a visiting artist in need of a feel good project during your stay, please message them on Facebook.  And, if you are not going to be on island in the near future, but are interested in supporting these INCREDIBLE efforts, please consider a tax deductible donation to Island Green Living Association!

11 thoughts on “Plastic Recycling has Arrived in Love City!”

  1. This is SUCH awesome news. I have been to their facility and they are doing great work. Hoping to see all those plastic single use bottles out of the trash (and off the ground!) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you, Thank you! We have been going to St. John every year since 1990 except this last year. I have been recycling the cans from our villa for the last 6 years. So happy they are doing plastic now. Since you have to take your own trash to the dumpsters it’s not that big a deal. Hope they provide recycle containers in the villas to encourage recycling more. This way the dumpsters won’t get so overloaded.

  3. I agree with the comment about the Westin.

    We are there every year and it would be great to have a place to drop recyclables during our stay or when we leave the pool area.

    Might also be an idea to have folks sponsor a can or cans in Cruz Bay to collect recyclables when visiting town.

  4. Great news. Plastic litter is everywhere and it lasts forever. I know it is very convenient for consumers, but it’s terrible for our environment.

  5. Yay! If there’s anyplace where recycling and trash-consciousness are absolutely necessary, it’s on a small island where the garbage can’t be “out of sight, out of mind”. Huge kudos to the dedicated people who are making this happen. The island and the planet thank you! My contribution is on the way.

  6. Great news! As a visitor to this beautiful place, I am so pleased to be able to use this recycling facility as it will help protect the island and its waters and will bring some jobs and turn materials that once were considered “waste/trash” into a revenue source.

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