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Island Green Sends 400,000 Aluminum Cans To Puerto Rico For Recycling

CRUZ BAY – With the help of local businesses, volunteers and St. John Administrator Shikima Jones, non-profit group Island Green Living Association shipped at least 400,000 crushed cans off-island for recycling on Saturday.

At least 40 volunteers and 350 volunteer hours went towards the effort, including can collection, crushing at Island Green’s ReSource Depot, baling and loading.

Businesses such as Stevenson Formel Freight Services, which donated use of the M/V Norma H II cargo ship to transport the pallets to a recycling plant on its return trip to Puerto Rico have been instrumental to the success of this endeavor.

Local Michael Marsh came ready with his truck and crane and Steve DeBlasio, on the island as part of Bloomberg’s community support efforts, was onsite with his forklift lending a hand with loading. Each man volunteered his equipment and manpower.

Recycling aluminum does not reduce the quality of the metal, so it can be recycled indefinitely. Not only has Island Green kept nearly 15,000 pounds of valuable aluminum from wasting away unused in our overflowing landfills, but it will also bring approximately $7,000 to the organization’s coffers to support additional recycling and sustainable programming – offering a win-win for all. The M/V Norma owners allowed the shipment to hitch a ride on its return trip to Puerto Rico, keeping the carbon footprint to a minimum.

“We are pleased to assist this worthy cause by donating carriage from St. John to Puerto Rico for this shipment of recyclables,” said M/V Norma H II owner Christina Stevenson. “We are proud to be a part of the Virgin Islands community and we feel fortunate to be able to give back by supporting the well-being of the Islands and our environment.”

“On behalf of Island Green’s board, I want to express our gratitude to Operations Manager Anthony Novelli and Executive Director Kelly Lawson – as well as all of our dedicated volunteers and business sponsors,” said President Harith Wickrema. “It was a true team effort and we could not have accomplished this milestone without all of you.”

Island Green has a 15-year history of sustainable programming and conservation on St. John. All told, the organization’s ReSource Depot has kept nearly 300,000 pounds of building and other materials out of landfills. Their Sustainable Living Center, currently under construction, will mark a new era of innovative green living on St. John.

The nonprofit has worked closely with the legislature on banning plastic bags, source separation and bottle deposit legislation and on efforts to ban plastic straws and now – sunscreen containing harmful chemicals such as oxybenzone. Island Green has been instrumental in building public awareness of green issues and worked with the DOE and private schools to support sustainable education.

Island Green Living Association said it hopes to make many more shipments of recyclable materials in the future.

It is a registered 501 (c)(3) not for profit organization on St. John “dedicated to sustainability throughout the USVI.”

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