CRUZ BAY — With more than a million visitors a year, St. John’s population is hundreds of times greater than its number of residents.
Tourism is good news economically but there are consequences to being a “Tropical Paradise.”
Solid waste is a major threat to the VI National Park and the island as a whole. The absence of an island-wide recycling program and the significant cost of trash disposal have long been issues that endanger St. John’s fragile eco systems.
Enter Island Green Living Association (IGLA). IGLA, which has prevented more than 120,000 pounds of building materials from going to the beleaguered landfill through its ReSource Depot and now has partnered with the St. John Community Foundation to purchase an aluminum can crusher.
The can crusher uses 59,000 lbs. of compaction force to crush 600 cans at a time and provides a first step in recycling St. John’s waste. But there are considerable startup expenses and operational costs to get this program up and running.
Resident Pledges $20,000 Match
In honor of Earth Day, a resident of St. John has pledged $20,000 in matching donations made by April 24 toward preserving St. John, starting with the can crusher. If the $20,000 goal is reached by April 3, he will donate an additional $5,000.
Once operational, the income from the aluminum will help fund the program and IGLA will then start recycling plastic, paper and glass.
These efforts will be a significant positive force in Preserve St. John efforts. However the cooperation and financial support of the community is vital. To donate, please visit www.iglavi.org or call William Willigerod at 340-643-5313 or Harith Wickrema at 340-714-2086.