Sept. 15, 2005 The territory's libraries are getting a boost from a unique recycling program. Dean Plaskett, Planning and Natural Resources commissioner, announced a project to recycle ink jet cartridges and cell phones, the proceeds of which will go to local libraries.
The project, he said, was launched through the Division of Environmental Protection in observance of National Pollution Prevention Week, Sept. 19 through Sept. 25.
Plaskett explained how it works. "The retrieval center will be paying our libraries for every good condition cartridge or cell phone selected for remanufacturing."
The process is simple, Plaskett said. Starting Sept. 19, libraries in both districts will provide postage-paid envelopes to mail the cell phones or cartridges to the recycling center. They should be taken to the Enid M. Baa Library on St. Thomas, the Florence Williams Library on St. Croix or the Elaine Sprauve Library on St. John.
Parking at the Baa library on St. Thomas can be problematic. Jamal Nielsen, DPNR media relations director, said Thursday that the government soon will be placing the envelopes for pick up at several other government offices. Those pick-up spots will be announced later.
Plaskett said that aside from being a commendable way to raise funds for the libraries, the recycling effort is another way to conserve resources and protect the environment by keeping recyclable items out of our landfills.
He provided some sobering statistics: It's estimated that in 2005, more than 600 million new inkjet cartridges will be sold in the U.S. By some estimates, nearly eight cartridges are thrown away in the U.S. every second.
The commissioner said every division in his department has been charged with recycling the cartridges, and he urged other government agencies to follow suit.
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