The USVI Glass Recovery project was funded through the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands through the Island Spirits Fund with additional funding support provided by The Ocean Conservancy. This project builds from marine debris research and citizen science efforts that
have been coordinated throughout the USVI such as the annual Coastweeks and Great Mangrove Cleanups. Data from these efforts have identified beverage bottles (both plastic and glass)
as being the most prevalent debris type found along our coastlines and mangrove shorelines.
Using this data, this project aims to recycle glass beverage bottles by crushing them
back into sand and glass cullets that will be used primarily for the purpose of filling
sandbags and other industrial applications such as concrete and asphalt aggregate
Learn More About Our Program!See below for different ways we are able to utilize recycled crushed glass.
Take a look at some highlights from our USVI Glass Recovery Program. This will give
you an idea of the scope of work involved from the collection of the glass beverage
bottles to the filling of sandbags.
Through the USVI Glass Recovery Program, we can collect glass beverage bottles which
are then pulverized into sand and glass cullets (essentially gravel made from glass).
Paper/plastic labels can be left on the glass beverage bottles; however, it is important
to review our Glass Collection Guidelines as not every glass beverage botte can be
accepted for crushing. Fill out our General Inquiry Form to volunteer or schedule
a drop-off of your glass beverage bottles at our UVI location.
Using machinery purchased from Expleco.com, our team pulverizes collected glass beverage
bottles. During the crushing process, personal protective equipment (PPE) is always
utilized to include ear muffs, safety eyewear, and respirators. Once glass beverage
bottles meet the criteria for crushing, each bottle can be crushed in as little as
In this photo, you can see a combination of recycled crushed glass sand and cullets.
This mixture is safe to touch without gloves; however, care should be excerised to
wash your hands after touching. This mixture can be utilized for a myriad of purposes
which you can read more about in the Solid Waste Integration Management Plan.
After the mixture has been sifted, cullets are added to a bin and rinsed to remove
any remaining beverage and paper labels. Since the labels are mostly lightweight (paper/plastic),
they easily float to the surface and can be skimmed away, leaving mostly glass cullets.
Instead of filling sandbags with beach sand or sand made from the crushing of rocks,
we can fill sandbags with the recycled crushed glass sand (sand+cullets+labels). This
mixture works just like a typical sandbag and helps to retain moisture making the
mixture usable for landscaping and gardening applications.
Recycled crushed glass (primarily the glass cullets) can be used with resin for arts
and crafts. The uses of recycled crushed glass are virtually endless!
Total Number of Glass Beverage Bottles Crushed
lbs of Glass Bottles Crushed
Number of Sandbags Created
Where is Glass Currently Accepted?Thanks to our community partners, you can drop off your glass at several locations.
St. Croix Locations
Anna's Hope with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Drop-off of glass
Contact Us!Our team is happy to help you!
Office Phone: St. Thomas (340) 693-1672
E-mail: St. Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service
Center for Marine and Environmental Studies
University of the Virgin Islands