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WMA Recycling Effort Helping to Preserve Paradise

Nov. 29, 2006 — The V.I. Waste Management Authority has once again teamed up with local public and private schools to increase community interest in recycling aluminum products and preserve paradise.
The second annual territorywide "Don't Trash Your Cans, Cash Your Cans" aluminum can collection contest began mid-November and will conclude Dec. 1.
"Doing your part to collect aluminum beverage cans for recycling makes great environmental sense," said VIWMA spokesperson Charmin Springer, who hopes the campaign will "get the community excited about recycling aluminum cans and "preserving paradise."
Nov. 15 was America Recycles Day, and WMA used the occasion to once again partner with the Department of Education to increase recycling awareness. Last year, 16 schools across the territory participated in the contest, Springer said. The schools were able to recycle 32,516 cans, which amounted to almost 500 pounds of aluminum.
"The response has been even greater this year," Springer said, noting that 21 schools signed up to participate in the event. Springer said that due to the overwhelming response, "the collection period has been extended this year, affording the schools the opportunity to collect even more cans."
The department has enlisted the aid of students from elementary to university levels to join in the campaign.
A poetry contest is in place for junior high school students, while high school students are creating bumper stickers and slogans, and university students will create brochures — all stressing the importance of recycling aluminum. Contest winners will receive an array of prizes for their work, and university winners will also receive an opportunity for a six-week internship with the authority. All winning materials will be used in future WMA recycling campaigns.
The authority plans to continue its initiatives well into 2007, launching its next component in recycling awareness entitled: "Yes, You Can Recycle the Can." This phase will feature locally hand-painted recycling receptacles at businesses and schools throughout the territory.
"The goal is for aluminum cans to be recycled and not trashed," Springer said.
The authority enlisted the aid of Betsy Campen and Jim Bierowski, co-owners of Gallows Bay Frame Shop, for this next component. Campen is also the director of the painted barrels program. (See "Painted Barrels Helping to Beautify the Island in More Ways Than One")
To do your part in preserving paradise, take your cans to EZ Recycling on St. Croix (778-0100) or to Sanitary Trashmoval Services (775-3670) on St. Thomas. For more information on the program, contact Charmin Springer at 773-4489.
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