Allison Fraley is Kauai County’s Solid Waste Programs Coordinator, having started as their first Recycling Coordinator in 2000. She currently manages the entire Solid Waste Division and is responsible for all the waste diversion programs on the island of Kauai, Hawaii.
Allison Fraley will give multiple presentations and discussions giving Virgin Islands residents the chance to ‘talk trash’ with the County of Kauai’s Solid Waste Program Development Coordinator. She has helped to establish Kauai’s entire solid waste management system including backyard composting, effective public education programs, and solid waste diversion. She is here to share her experiences transforming the solid waste programs on her tropical island.
The public forums will be held on Monday, July 24th at 6PM in the Prior Jollek Hall at Antilles School (St. Thomas), Thursday, July 26th at 1:30PM in the Coral Reef Room at The Westin and 6PM at The Tap Room in Mongoose Junction (St. John), and Friday, July 28th at 1:30PM at the Guy Benjamin Community Center in Coral Bay (St. John). All residents are welcome and encouraged to attend. During her visit to the Virgin Islands, July 24th-28th, Ms. Fraley will also meet with Waste Management Authority officials, government officials, the University of the Virgin Islands, and VI Senators.
Since coming on board in 2000, Fraley’s efforts have helped to significantly increase Kauai’s waste diversion rate, which is currently at 43 percent.
One example of an effective program was the passage and enforcement of legislation banning commercially generated cardboard, metal and green waste at the Kauai County landfill. “This has had a major impact on commercial waste diversion,” said Fraley, who championed the bill. “Meanwhile, backyard composting is our least expensive program and also does a fantastic job of diverting residentially generated food and yard waste from the landfill with no costs for hauling or processing material.”
Ms. Fraley has been successful in advocating for the hiring of more staff to develop, contract, monitor and educate about waste diversion programs.
“Kauai has a 43 percent diversion rate and shares a number of similar variables (tropical island, topography, climate, population, high tourism industry, transportation issues) making them ideal to look to, learn from, and perhaps copy here in the Virgin Islands,” said Scott Eanes, Environmental Programs Associate at the Coral Bay Community Council. “It’s wise for us to look to other island systems to see how they are handling their solid waste issues, their successes and pitfalls, and then see if we can emulate it here.”
Ms. Fraley’s interest in recycling and solid waste diversion started in college and turned into a full-fledged career in 1994, where she started working at Ecology Action, a non-profit in Santa Cruz, California. She worked there for six years before moving to Kauai in 2000, becoming the county’s first paid staffer focusing on recycling. Ms. Fraley has since moved on to her current position within the Solid Waste Division, assisting with oversight of all areas of solid waste management on Kauai.
Ms. Fraley’s visit is possible through a solid waste management grant awarded to the Coral Bay Community Council from the US Department of Agriculture. Her presentations and discussions are being co-hosted by VI Waste Management Authority, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources-Coastal Zone Management, Island Green, E.A.S.T., Virgin Islands Conservation Society, Plastic Free Island: St. John, Antilles School, and the University of the Virgin Islands.