Unite BVI are a new not-for-project foundation based in the BVI whose vision is to create opportunities that inspire and empower the next generation to really take ownership and make a difference when it comes to environmental, educational and social issues in the region.
Whilst there are a huge number of projects the team are currently involved with – you might have spotted the recent BVI Artificial Reef project – one of the causes that is closest to their hearts is recycling. Over the last 10 years, the amount of waste being produced by the BVI has tripled so the effort to support local recyclers has never been more necessary. Due to minimal education and awareness about the long term impacts of poor waste disposal, waste is usually dumped or burned causing major environmental and public health concerns.
The Unite BVI team have been working closely with local not-for-profit called ‘Green VI’ on ‘The Virgin Gorda Recycling Pilot’. Through significant collaboration with these co-donors and via entrepreneurial loans, the team have helped facilitate strategic partnerships between the BVI Government’ Department of Waste Management, local recyclers, sponsors and the community. This significant investment has enabled Green VI to purchase the equipment necessary to expand and process three major waste streams: metal, glass, and plastic.
As part of the pilot, the Department of Waste Management has secured recycling bins and a dedicated collection truck. On Virgin Gorda, Green and Clean (VI) Ltd will continue with glass aggregate production from old glass bottles and will initiate aluminium recycling. VI Plastics will be converting discarded plastic into furniture.
Education and community awareness is a huge focus to try and engage the local community in supporting these developments. Green VI facilitates education and outreach through waste field trips, lesson plans, presentations and mentoring. Their outreach programmes are fun, engaging and educational including the Trash to treasure programme and the CHAIR-ity event.
The ultimate aim is to move Virgin Gorda to zero waste and eliminate open burning at the Virgin Gorda dumpsite. A huge ‘well done’ to the team for all their achievements so far. We’re looking forward to hearing about more of them.