Virgin Islands breaks ground on glass studio

Governor McCleary joined Green VI“s Board of Directors and Apprentices on 15 October at Myetts, Cane Garden Bay, Virgin Islands, to break ground on Green VI“s first project; a Glass Studio that will…

Governor McCleary joined Green VI“s Board of Directors and Apprentices on 15 October at Myetts, Cane Garden Bay, Virgin Islands, to break ground on Green VI“s first project; a Glass Studio that will recycle glass waste from surrounding restaurants. The Glass Studio Project has been developed as a first step to address the problems of litter, the accumulation of waste behind the incinerator at Pockwood Pond and glass in the incineration process. With the procurement of a new incinerator, it is essential for the health of workers, and the functioning and life span of the incinerator, that glass be removed from the waste stream. Glass is problematic in the incineration process as it melts and adheres to the incinerator walls, causing the incinerator to be less efficient and damaging the structure. This is an exciting project in a priority area for the Territory. Waste management is a critical issue here, and the glass furnace is a proactive way to focus on waste reduction by removing glass from the waste stream at the incinerator. The furnace will create employment, enhance capacity and skills, and help to minimize toxic emissions. I am pleased that the UK Government Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP) has been able to support this project and that major funds have also been contributed by the local business community. The Glass Studio is not designed to be a solution for all glass waste in the Territory and will only serve the restaurants and bars in the Cane Garden Bay area. However, funds raised from the furnace will go toward research and implementation of on-island applications for glass waste. Four apprentices will be instructed on furnace construction and the art of blowing glass. Glass goods, ranging from jewellery to recycled glass tiles (for use in building applications), will be produced, and glass blowing demonstrations and lessons will be offered. Proceeds from the furnace will also fund Green VI“s research and implementation of future sustainability related projects in the BVI, ensuring that the not-for-profit is less dependent on external funds. I would like to thank all those involved with making this project a reality. It is my hope that the Glass Studio will facilitate many more future environmental projects. Charlotte McDevitt, executive director, Green VI. Primary sponsors for this project include the British Government and its Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP), which is administered locally through the Governor“s office, and local sponsor Sol Petroleum. Additional sponsors and partners for the Glass Studio include: OBMI, Myetts, JOMA, O“Neal Webster, Coverdale, Nagico, Nutmeg Designs, TICO, Caribbean Cellars, Groundworks BVI, Civil and Structural Engineering Ltd., Tortola Concrete, Drakes Traders Ltd, EZ Shipping, Meriden Construction, Solid Waste Department, A Looking Glass, BVI Spring Regatta and CADA. Waste management remains a critical issue that needs to be addressed in the British Virgin Islands to protect the health of visitors, residents, the environment, to ensure sustainable development, promote eco-tourism and enhance capacity for adaptation to climate change.