Jan. 22, 2004 – Recycling is expected to resume on St. John in about eight weeks, Cordell Jacobs, executive director of the St. Thomas-St. John Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission, said Thursday following a meeting at the Legislature Building in Cruz Bay.
Jacobs said a contract was awarded to H&V Heavy Equipment, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull signed the contract on Dec. 31, and the commission is waiting for the Finance Department to allocate the money. He provided no additional information.
Recycling got off to a great start more than a year ago, but so many people turned in their recyclables that the program used up its funding, and in order to get more funding, the contract process had to start over again. In the meantime, many residents have stockpiled their aluminum cans, glass bottles, cardboard boxes, newspapers and office paper waiting for the day when they will again get paid to recycle.
Joe Kessler, who is president of the Friends of the V.I. National Park but spoke as a private citizen at Thursday meeting, suggested that the commission stop paying people to recycle. Instead, he said, "use the money to put out collection bins."
Having multiple bins would be more convenient for people than forcing them to show up on Wednesdays at the public tennis courts for the weekly collection by a commission contractor, Kessler said. This was the practice when recycling was in effect.
Jacobs said the ALBC has bins in hand and is looking for a not-for-profit organization to maintain them in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay where people could deposit plastic, glass and aluminum voluntarily without being paid. The organization would keep the money raised by recycling the items deposited in the bins, he said.
Doug White, a member of a St. John Community Foundation group working on recycling issues, said the foundation is waiting for the St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee to approve a permit to operate a glass crusher at the Westin Resort and Villas.
The crusher is on island, White said, but a sifter that costs $115,000 is needed. He said the Community Foundation would apply to the ALBC for funding. The sifter would remove paper and lids as well as sort glass into three different grades. White said the crushed glass could be used in concrete and asphalt and as silica sand, and to fabricate items such as glass tiles.
However, Ira Wade, Public Works deputy commissioner for St. John, said the foundation needs to come up with a definite plan for getting rid of the crusher's end products before it puts the device into operation. He expressed concern that otherwise the crushed material would become his problem.
White said that asphalt can be 15 percent crushed glass, but Wade said the Federal Highway Administration doesn't want crushed glass added to the mix because the asphalt available on St. John is of minimal quality.
White also said that concrete can be 10 percent crushed glass, but Wade said that officials of Majestic Construction, which supplies most of the concrete for the island, told him they won't accept crushed class for concrete unless it's guaranteed free of paper and glue.
White said St. John generates 1.5 tons of waste glass daily. Wade estimated that about 35 percent of the 28 tons of garbage collected from the island's green garbage bins is glass, not taking into account the glass deposited in the red roll-on/roll-off bins.
Carole DeSenne, the Community Foundation's executive director, said a CZM hearing on the crusher issue is slated for February.'
The foundation also on Thursday showed off the first of 15 trash cans it will place throughout Cruz Bay.
Edwin Davis, ALBC chair, said the commission plans to expand its St. Thomas "Scrape, Paint and Rejuvenate" program to St. John. However, St. John Administrator Julien Harley said the Cruz Bay area does not have many buildings in need of that cleanup/fixup service.
"Why don't you use the money for something else?" Harley suggested.
DeSenne said in a report to the commission that the Community Foundation is continuing its cleanup, planting and beautification efforts in Cruz Bay and other areas of the island. The foundation's beautification projects are funded by an $80,000 grant from the ALBC.
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