As Love City continues to embrace aluminum can recycling, new bins and signage will soon be popping up across the island thanks to a grant from the V.I. Waste Management Authority.
The St. John Community Foundation will receive the grant, worth more than $20,000, and pass the funds on to the Recycling Association of the Virgin Islands (RAVI) St. John Chapter.
After VIWMA announced that $50,000 grants were available for each of the three main U.S. Virgin Islands, SJCF executive director Paul Devine jumped at the chance for St. John funding.
“For this grant, St. John was considered separate from St. Thomas,” said Devine. “This is the first time I’ve heard about St. John having its own grant opportunity, so I jumped at it.”
Last month VIWMA awarded a $20,553 grant to SJCF, which will be doled out over several payments. So far SJCF has received the first half of the grant, about $10,277, and expects to receive additional payments in 25 percent increments every three months.
RAVI St. John, for which Devine serves as project manager, formed a subcommittee to handle the funds, which decided so far to purchase bins and signs.
The group has spent a total of $3,500 to purchase and ship 12 new collection bins, Devine explained.
“The bins are nicer and brighter,” said Devine. “They’re for businesses to use and if things work out, we’ll buy more for our larger sites and to use at events.”
RAVI St. John has also earmarked part of the SJCF grant for 60 shiny new recycling signs. Kate Norfleet, of Kate N Design, created two signs for the recycling group. One design has a “No Littering” message and the other design alerts residents to an upcoming collection site.
“We bought 60 signs, 30 with the ‘Recycle Bin Ahead’ message that we’ll put near the bin sites and 30 with the ‘Please Don’t Litter’ message which we’ll post around the island,” said Devine. “We’re going to work with Department of Public Works who are helping us to get metal posts to install the signs properly.”
“We’ve also gotten permission to use public land,” Devine said.
The signs should be on St. John by December and installed by the end of the year or early next year, Devine added.
“This will all be done by volunteers,” he said. “We’ll need volunteers to install the concrete bases for the signs and for the actual installation along the roadways.”
The second round of the grant will most likely be used to jump start the recycling group’s education campaign, Devine explained.
“We’ll use the next installation of the grant for educational materials and informational pamphlets,” he said. “We’re hoping to have seminars with community groups and schools to instruct them how to recycle and support the group. That should start up in early 2010.”
As more and more residents and visitors take advantage of the opportunity to recycle their cans, RAVI St. John needs additional volunteers to adopt collection bins.
The group meets the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the SJCF office on the third floor of The Marketplace. To join the recycling effort or for more information about RAVI St. John call Devine at 693-9410.