UVI Scientist Crushing Glass Waste with Recycling Project

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Wed Jan 06 2021 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

University of the Virgin Islands marine scientist Howard Forbes Jr. received a grant to buy glass crushing machines that convert glass bottles into a sustainable substitute for sand in sand bags. Clean Sweep Frederiksted will receive one of the machines for its work.

When Forbes saw a call by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands for grant proposals, he jumped at the opportunity. In October, he got the news that his project would receive $50,000 through CFVI’s Island Spirits Fund, which is funded by Cruzan Rum through donations of $1 for every case of rum sold.

The money covered the purchase of five glass crushers at $5,000 each for St. Thomas, which arrived mid-December. The paperwork is complete to order two more for St. Croix, Forbes said.

“This isn’t a magic solution that is going to solve all of our problems, but at the very least we’ll be able to divert glass waste away from the landfill and be able to use it in a number of different applications, with the primary emphasis, again, on using it to fill sandbags sustainably because all of the sandbags that we have ever produced have been done so with beach sand, which isn’t necessarily the most sustainable thing,” Forbes said.