In an effort to keep cardboard out of St. Croix’s landfills, the Recycling Association of the Virgin Islands has arranged with Cost-U-Less on St. Croix to bale and ship off island residents’ cardboard along with its own.
"Cost-U-less purchased its cardboard bailer specifically for recycling when it opened its new store. We are really focused on being a good corporate citizen, so offering recycling and partnering with the Recycling Association seemed natural," Cost-U-Less Manager Scott Ramsey said in a press release.
The Recycling Association spent $300 to build plywood bins to hold the cardboard, Recycling Association member Colleen Sullivan said. Volunteers who built the bins include Sullivan, Scott Johnston and Jeff Lawlor. And Sullivan said that Gallows Bay Hardware provided a 50 percent discount on the cost of the paint.
The green bins are now in place at the Cost-U-Less parking lot.
"Every time you and your neighbors drop off cardboard in the Cost-U-Less bins, the entire community benefits by diverting cardboard from the landfill," Sullivan said.
She said she didn’t know how much cardboard residents dropped off.
"But I’m sure it’s only going to be a small fraction," Sullivan said, referring to the total amount of cardboard available for recycling on St. Croix.
All cardboard placed in the bins should be flat and have any paper, food, bags, or Styrofoam removed. Additionally, Cost-U-Less will accept clean, unflattened boxes at its inside caged bins for use by shoppers to cart their groceries home.
According to Sullivan, Cost-U-Less was previously accepting cardboard from residents, but the outside bins were too small. This prompted the construction of the new bins.
The Recycling Association plans to ramp up its efforts to increase the variety of items that St. Croix residents can recycle. Sullivan said the organization plans to work with the Boys and Girls Club to fix up its aluminum can recycling center at the club’s Anna’s Hope facility.
Efforts to find how St. Thomas is doing with cardboard recycling were unsuccessful. Jason Budsan, acting Environmental Association of St. Thomas/St. John president, said he wishes that Cost-U-Less on St. Thomas set up a cardboard recycling program similar to the one on St. Thomas.
"But congratulations to St. Croix," he said.
The Recycling Association operates under the umbrella of the V.I. Resource Conservation and Development Council. For more information about the Recycling Association, visit www.usvircd.org/RAVI/.