BVI News

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Duo partners to build a local recycling industry

Owners of Alkebulan Minds Recycling Inc, Shavoy Samuels (left) and Gavin Baird.

Two young men determined to see the British Virgin Islands become a sustainably enviro-safe nation have channelled their vision into an inspiring business venture.

Shavoy Samuels and Gavin Baird have partnered to establish Alkebulan Minds Recycling Incorporated — a local startup company that offers waste removal services whilst generating a profit through the collection of recyclable items that are then sterilized, repackaged, and exported.

The duo said they were moved to start the business after realising the largely-overlooked dangers associated with the territory’s heavy reliance on the importation of goods.

“The mere fact that we are a country of importation means we would have a higher level of garbage accumulation than a country that is recycling [the various plastic and glass containers that they package their goods in],” Baird explained.

Currently, the BVI incinerates most of the garbage it accumulates, but Baird believes there are numerous environmental and public health issues associated with incineration.

“On record, [the BVI] burns over 80 tonnes a day so you could imagine what they (the Department of Waste Management) are collecting daily,” Baird told BVI News.

“Recycling, therefore, has been our life’s mission. Instead of ridiculing what’s going on, we need to have a part to play in the change and that’s where our business concept really came about,” the 31-year-old said, adding that he now hopes to decrease the territory’s incineration levels.

“Maybe the only real way to curtail it (incineration) is to go to the sources of waste — the residents and the business places. So, when we decrease the influx of garbage, then we go about the decrease of what’s burning,” the young entrepreneur explained.

Baird and his business partner Samuels told BVI News they still have a considerable distance to go to build their business and one of the first steps is to acquire a second pickup truck so they can expand their recycling enterprise.

First local recycling factory

As for more long-term ambitions, the young businessmen have hopes of errecting a recycling factory in the BVI.

The factory would create bi-products of recyclable items such as plastic and glass, Baird explained.

“With creating a recycling plant, we create jobs, we are creating a whole new industry and, at that point, we can decrease the level of importation and, in turn, have a viable, affordable product,” Baird said.

“We are going to utilise the same opportunities that an international recycling corporation would utilise.”

Alkebulan recycling, in the meantime, charges a fee to collect waste in the territory’s residential and business communities.

But, owners of the startup company are already proposing to donate some their services in the interest of local tourism.

The duo said they plan to provide a not-for-profit cleanup of seven of the BVI’s major beaches.

“This will also provide an opportunity for tourists to come and see where we’re going in the BVI,” said Baird, who noted that Alkebulan recycling is offering free services to the Ghetto/Crabbe Lot community.

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27 Comments

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  1. resident says:

    always nice to see young people with a vision, we need more of this in the bvi

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  2. good idea says:

    good luck boyz!

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  3. Great says:

    Excellent initiative! Wishing these two young visionaries much success.

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  4. Yotuh says:

    Glad to see you follow through with your dreams fam! Keep pushing!

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  5. Great news says:

    How can I HELP

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  6. Greener BVI says:

    Great Move Guys! You should ask government to manage the derelict vehicle spot in Sea Cows Bay as another. Then you should lease a piece of land from government or privately with open space and on which you can place metal buildings to house some of the articles from the weather. These articles should not be limited to parts from derelict vehicles, boats, household furniture and fixtures, and building materials. Work with Solid Waste to retrieve those items that are reusable a few more times before they are finally destroyed. Work with Town and Country Planning to find out how you can legally know about those properties that are doing major refurbishment so the items for disposal do not go to the landfill yet. You would also have to advertise to the public so they know where to find you to drop off the old items.

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  7. Good start guys says:

    Let’s get our ideas moving in ONEBVI. Move with vision and work your plan: partner-up with those who share in the vision, collaborate, seek mentors/expertise from those already in the industry, work with the business initiative programs already established to cultivate stronger support and to help search out funding. Make it happen; we can do this! Good Sunrise Motivation and Inspiration! Blessed.

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  8. Congratulations says:

    Congratulations and best of luck to both of you, it is so nice to see some of our younger guys doing something positive like this. Please tell us how to sort household items and how to get it to you for recycling.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Good job guys. If the rest of the population wasn’t so lazy and just cleaned up their own yards the island would be beautiful. Although I commend you, beware the government will want to dip into your pockets for something and if you make too much money the “investment club” and the associated ministers will be there to take you over. Good luck and good job

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  10. Laura says:

    I was eagerly waiting for someone to do this. So kudos to you both. Great initiative and a positive move in the empowerment of our young men. Really hope this flourishes!!

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  11. Steve Jobs says:

    These two fine young men represent our future! Make it happen and Put a ding in the universe!

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  12. help needed says:

    Great move! How can we contact you? Good luck n this venture

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  13. Big up says:

    So where are the investors whom have recently said they’d assist young entrepreneurs? Guess once it’s not some flashy app or financial services thingy the eco crowd gets zero financial support.

    Spoke to guys about this initiative just after Irma and Greta news to see you’ve both made it on the www!!

    Let’s see if the lame ducks in government lend a helping hand. Doubtful as you two don’t fit their profile.

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  14. Di says:

    its a nice move, but i cant see myself collecting all these bottles for you guys and not even a $10.00 for a full garbage of these bottles. when it boils down you gaining and im losing doing all this collecting for you guys. i would say this one hand dont clap and you can not out smart the wise ones when they realise it.

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  15. Information says:

    What’s a phone number u guys can be reached at.

  16. good move says:

    Coming from a place where recycling is mandatory to a place where is it almost non existent was hard for me. I get confused throwing all my trash in the same container, and where I first lived I would be fined to doing that or even imprisoned. It is time the BVI and its people make a conscious effort to recycle and I commend this initiative by these young men. It will be sort of difficult because its a process to change the mindset of what people are accustomed to doing, but with the right exposure and public service announcements on FB and social media especially, I can see the change becoming real. For the person wanting money for what you would have trashed anyway, if that is all you can think of, then God bless you.

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  17. Excellent says:

    This is excellent! Wonderful to see people taking initiative on a pressing issue as opposed to waiting/asking for the government to do it. This is a great example of the BVI at its best. Good luck gentlemen!

  18. small island says:

    It seems a good start would be to put recycling bins next to the general collection bins. Unfortunately, to make this work it has to be easy for the public, especially those who are not used to separating and rinsing the containers. A recycling fee added to the purchase of bottles etc. is a big help as people will pick them up from the roadside for the refund..good for us all. I am so excited for your initiative and know it will make a difference.

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  19. Director, Alkebulan Minds Recycling Inc. says:

    Good evening to my beautiful British Virgin Islands. We can be contacted via email at [email protected]. We give thank for all words of support there will be gwop for your garbage bags of items in time…. Lol… We are determined to fulfill our mission and see the BVI transition from where it is now to a more unified BVI where we all can benefit from less styrofoam in our diets. Someone please do a study on how styrofoam affects the human body since it is known not to decompose over many many years…. I thank you BVI we are coming full force with full guidance of the Almighty!

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  20. Gerance P. says:

    YES! YES! And YES! You have our support gentlemen. Stay strong, stay focused, research everything to see what works and learn from others. We are excited for your venture and thank you both for having the courage and wisdom to take on this wonderful task.

  21. Guy Hill says:

    Great initiative. The Virgin Islands belongs to all of us. We have to protect it. Always continue to do your very best. Be brave.

    • The wise. says:

      All the best to this new venture. Thinking outside the BOX. You will have copy cats. Hope you have a trade license. It’s a big money business. So beware of the wolfs and snakes. Be Bless Forever!!!!!!

  22. The wise. says:

    All the best to this new venture. Thinking outside the BOX. You will have copy cats. Hope you have a trade license. It’s a big money business. So beware of the wolfs and snakes. Be Bless Forever!!!!!!

  23. D.Frett says:

    In this fast generation of which international communication is shared in seconds and world travel is reduced to hours, I’m saddened to think of a world where trash is still burned for disposal at these levels, particularly, on an island paradise. We can do better. After a recent visit and learning of Alkebulan Minds Recycling Inc. efforts to revolutionize waste management by managing waste at Road Town’s Festival Village and beyond, I was moved to assist in steering this vision to full fruition. We are currently outlining details to present an international proposal. I wonder if tourists from heavily populated cities across the world visit Tortola and are visibly aware of this island paradise sinking from neglect through a lack of innovation, what adverse impact that can have on our economy and our ecosystem. In New York City, where I live, a lot of people have learned to value utilizing a small land space and recycling consciousness have become an essential part of our lifestyles. In NYC I learn that I have to do my part if recycling is to be effective in keeping our world from being trapped behind walls of garbage. In the British Virgin Islands where I’m from, we all, conscience or unconsciously value clean air, beautiful beaches, and an economic opportunities to create local industry as well as preserve our lands. In the BVI I learned that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Let us not neglect to preserve our land.

  24. Yes I says:

    Well done gentlemen. You will have a successful business. Just keep pushing forward.

  25. Grade says:

    This is a nice idea and will benefit the entire BVI in time. Jah bless & guide you both on this positive movement.

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