Research and Advocacy

To understand the dynamics of waste management on a small island setting, Green VI’s Executive Director, Charlotte McDevitt completed her Master’s thesis on waste management in the BVI in 2008. Since then, Charlotte has been a vibrant advocate for redefining our waste as resource materials, so that we can come to understand that what we throw away every day is of significant value.  Managing our discarded materials can create on-island businesses opportunities and associated products.

 

Internationally, the emerging paradigm in progressive waste management strategies is to redefine waste as useful resources or materials that need to be managed accordingly. The ultimate aim is zero waste to landfill or incineration. Materials are managed in a closed loop system that mimics the natural world, where there is no such thing as waste. Waste simply becomes food or resources for other systems.

 

For six years, this concept has been the backbone of Green VI's research, projects, education and outreach along the waste theme.  Our research was utilised for the Waste Management chapters in Island Resources Foundation's Environmental Profiles for Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Tortola, and our most visible project, The Glass Studio, has demonstrated the concept of waste as a resource in real time and real results. Outreach programmes have included countless talks, presentations and green events and the CHAIR-ity Auction and Trash to Treasure Workshops have created "hands on" opportunities for the community to experience what we discard is inherently valuable.

 

Redefining waste as a resource also underlies all the work we have done with the Government. We are most excited that the 2014 Solid Waste Management Strategy for the BVI, calls for this redefinition. Green VI is proud to have been invited to sit on the working group to implement this critical Strategy.

 

Green VI has submitted three comprehensive bids for international funding to Darwin Plus (2013/14/15) to build Material Recovery Facilities on Tortola and Virgin Gorda wherein waste is managed as resources. One of the project goals is to minimize exporting recyclables whilst retaining as many resources on island as possible. Bids have included local partners, such as the Department of Waste Management, local recyclers and partners from around the world, such as the USVI Recycling Partnership, the Government of Anguilla and Waste and Resources Action Plan in the United Kingdom. However, due to high capital costs, these bids were not awarded.