CBCC co-hosts Trash Talk at Antilles School

Composing a compost pile, diverting the waste stream or showing the public how to keep solid waste from going to waste, Allison Fraley comes to Antilles School July 24 to talk trash, with help from a grant awarded to the Coral Bay Community Council.

A presentation and discussion co-hosted by Antilles School will soon give St. Thomas residents the chance to ‘talk trash’ with Allison Fraley, Solid Waste Program Development Coordinator for Kauai County. The public forum will be held on Monday, July 24th at 6 pm in the Prior Jollek Hall at Antilles.

All residents are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Fraley helped to establish Kauai’s entire solid waste management system (including backyard composting, effective public education programs, and solid waste diversion). She was invited by Coral Bay Community Council to share her experiences transforming the solid waste programs in Hawaii.

Since coming on board in 2000, Fraley’s efforts have helped significantly increase Kauai’s waste diversion rate.  Implementing effective programs has been a key part of Fraley’s strategy.

Waste diversion is a method used to reduce the volume of trash going into landfills. At the July 24 talk Fraley is expected to describe Kauai’s approach; lobbying for legislation, banning commercially generated cardboard, metal and green waste in the county landfill.

There is also community engagement in the form of home composting. “Backyard composting is our least expensive program and also does a fantastic job of diverting residentially generated food and yard waste from the landfill with no costs for hauling or processing material,” she said.

To help get the word out, Fraley worked to beef up staffing to develop, contract, monitor and educate about waste diversion programs.

Scott Eanes, Environmental Programs Associate at the Coral Bay Community Council. “It’s wise for us to look to other island systems to see how they are handling their solid waste issues, their successes and pitfalls, and then see if we can emulate it here.”

“Kauai has a 43 percent diversion rate and shares a number of similar variables (tropical island, topography, climate, population, high tourism industry, transportation issues) making them ideal to look to, learn from, and perhaps copy here in the Virgin Islands,” Eanes said.

The visit by Kauai’s foremost solid waste advocate is made possible through a solid waste management grant awarded to the Coral Bay Community Council from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Her presentations and discussions are being co-hosted by V.I. Waste Management Authority, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources-Coastal Zone Management, Island Green, E.A.S.T., Virgin Islands Conservation Society, Plastic Free Island: St. John and Antilles School.

During her visit to the Virgin Islands in late July Fraley will also meet with Waste Management Authority officials and VI lawmakers. CBCC hosts say she will also attend public forums on St. Thomas and St. John.