The Vineyard Conservation Society (VCS)’s Take Back the Tap (TBT) program has grown its water bottle refill station network by seven locations since the spring. The tap program now has 34 stations, 29 of which have been installed by VCS.
In Vineyard Haven, new stations can be found at the MV Chamber of Commerce, Chicken Alley Thrift Shop, and the Vineyard Haven Public Library.
In Oak Bluffs, new stations are at Healey Square, Penn Field, and Viera Park.
In Edgartown, a new station is up at Memorial Wharf.
Collaborative partners behind these stations are the MV Chamber of Commerce, Vineyard Haven Public Library, the Memorial Wharf Committee, M.V. Community Services, and MV Little League.
Different Island businesses also offer public refill stations through TBT. All refill locations, including at these businesses, are online on the VCS Tap Map shown here. A QR code to the map is also scannable at refill stations.
TBT stems from plastic-reduction work in 2015 between the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School environmental club and the VCS. The collaborative effort led to a refill station at the high school. Through donations, the project spread to all Island schools by 2017, and then to more public buildings and outdoor spots. TBT’s goal is a station for every Island public building, transportation hub, and tourist destination.
More outdoor stations are coming soon, including the West Tisbury School soccer fields and comfort station at the Menemsha docks.
According to electronic counters at the stations, TBT has so far provided the amount of water equivalent to tens-of-thousands of plastic water bottles.
Signe Benjamin, VCS director of membership and resource development, says TBT remains interested in opportunities for network growth and funding. “We definitely would like to invite [for funding] anyone who is interested in the refill stations,” says Benjamin.
Benjamin also has bikers in mind for the future. “I’d love to expand to a sort of outdoor unit network, [like for] if you’re going to bike from Vineyard Haven to Edgartown. Like one in the [Airport Road/Barnes Road] roundabout.”
Businesses, nonprofits, and town officials looking to join the Tap Map can do so via a form available through VCS.