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180 tonnes of garbage collected daily, landfill being created

File photo of a dump captured on a section of Tortola.

 

Following a number of open fires at local waste sites over the last year, Health Minister Ronnie Skelton said plans are ongoing to implement a long-term solution to alleviate the territory’s solid waste concerns.

“The solution to our garbage problem is not to build more incinerators and more waste management plans but to take out the recyclable things so we can reduce the amount of garbage. The country is also suffering because we don’t have a landfill,” the minister said while noting that the current waste facility at Pockwood Pond is not ‘ideal’.

“There is some need for a landfill and we are working to see if the government can reclaim a piece of land someplace to use as a landfill and have it protected,” he said.

Garbage problems worsened

The Health Minister also said the territory’s garbage problems have worsened since the onslaught of 2017 disasters.

Skelton said government usually collected about 90 tonnes of garbage per day, prior to the hurricanes.

He said government now collects about 180 tonnes of garbage daily, which far exceeds the Pockwood Pond waste facility’s daily load capacity of 100 tonnes.

“So, you can do the math and see that we have a facility that cannot handle what was produced by the hurricanes,” he stated.

Skelton said the Cox Heath dump was initially determined as a temporary solution for the territory’s waste management needs. The dump, however, turned out to be a literal disaster that came in the form of a major fire that lasted for weeks.

While adding his voice to the announcement of a landfill for the BVI, head at the Department of Waste Management Greg Massicote said: “We need a flat piece of land to have a properly engineered landfill with all the safety mechanisms in place.”

The two men, at the time, were speaking at a community meeting with West End residents at the Zion Hill Methodist Church on Tuesday.

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17 Comments

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  1. Gumption.Official says:

    Long before Irma we had an issue but got out of hand post Irma. It’s sad unto now we don’t have machines that could gassyfi our trash and bit less pollution in our atmosphere while putting electricity into our community and lowing people light bills. I personally know someone who have an actual plan to help us but it’s up to our Leaders……

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    • strupes says:

      This person of whom you speak must be from one of the outer-islands..Boy you is a real …

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      • Gumption.Official says:

        @strupes people that have your kinda mind actually have no brain. It’s crazy how you missed purpose. For your information it is not anyone from any islands from here but someone who was inspired by someone who’s from around here. I really love how people like you dislike being yourselves and looking at people who’s doing positive things to create a mind like you don’t like them when it’s true that people like you don’t like yourselves.

    • Curious says:

      You need to check your facts & do your waste audits Gumption. MANY people have come here to “turn our waste into energy”, with the latest being Kausina….Funny don’t see any of them sticking around…

    • Where's the Vision? says:

      @Gumption.Official you have raised a very important point….and a very serious matter. Its even worst on Virgin Gorda. The garbage site is located in the mountain, not far from Nature’s Little Secret at Gorda Peak National Park; more or less midway between the North Sound community on the eastern end and Spanish Town community on the Western end. So however the wind blows, either the North Sound or Spanish Town community has to deal with this unhealthy situation. No wonder our people are falling ill and dying, some at relly early years.
      The situation is much worst than anyone knows. mixed in the garbage is all kinds of poisonous materials, (fiberglass materials from the boat yards, resins, epoxy, paint; even the waste from the sewage tanks when pumped is taken to the dump to be emptied and burnt.
      It is paradoxical that we have three doctors in our government and this health hazard is never comes up for discussion until there’s a fire at Pockwood Pond.
      And yet our economy, country and way of life has over the years been touted as so strong and progressive.

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      • What’s up Doc says:

        How many of those doctors / elected officials live downwind from the dump that has been on fire for the past six months? No one cares about putting out the fire. Firemen don’t pay kickbacks.

      • Gumption. Official says:

        I heard you. I understand you. I’m willing to do anything I could to help us!

  2. Nonsense says:

    We don’t prepare for anything and bragging about independence and wanting the UK to keep out of our affairs. We must be delusional!

  3. After how long now..? says:

    Mr Minister only NOW you realize or awoke to the issue of not sorting our trash and recycling?!? Mehn you guys never cease to amaze me at the arcane and slow to process things! Why not use Flush (fish) Bay for your landfill? Not in my backyard will you designate your landfill to lower property values and be an eyesore! This must be a joke since you’ve been Minister for this subject area for almost 8 years and before that you knew of the importance of recycling! Just more useless rhetoric from a failed government.

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    • Hello says:

      And what are your suggestions? Your criticizing blabber mouth self. We need to get in the mindset of recycling. It’s the way that we must go to eliminate some of these problems! And yes a landfill must be created? Have you travelled out of the BVI? Have you seen the landfill in Puerto Rico for example? Well that one is located next to Plaza Las Americas. See the world and take note of what is possible from coming on here with your backwards thinking.

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      • After how long now..? says:

        Wow! Name calling is so 3 rd grade! I alluded to sorting the trash so it can be recycled. The subject minister has ALL the advice needed and should’ve by now at least had government buildings recycling with bins. So because the great and mighty Puerto Rico has a landfill next to a mall means we should emulate the same by your logic? Sorry I upset you with truth about your uncle; well no I’m not actually! We have the opportunity to do things right since the hurricanes and yet the talk is still the same. You and him need to go be in the said landfill and build ayo residences adjacent to them.

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        • Hmmmm says:

          Still no logical suggestions from you. Hope you are running for office this time, as I would surely vote for you just to see you implement your secretive plans and solutions for this vexing and growing issue if it remains unchecked. Obviously you cant see past your nose with your silly and trifling comments. Tells me your brain is boxed in. Step out the box for a second. Landfills do possess an advantage for future development purposes, and yes we would need to put certain measures in place to ensure the fill is properly planned, controlled and operated/ monitored. Oh yeah, I see the future potential of it. So yes, I’ll see you at the landfill!

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  4. What!!! says:

    “Sort trash and recycle” thats a joke most people here cant even put their garbage in a bin!

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  5. GNB says:

    Garbage is big business. It’s also a big problem for a lot of developing countries as well. Investigate what the UK does with their garbage just out of curiosity. Recycle is worth the effort.

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  6. Fact says:

    The truth is that we are a lawless society of nasty people and it’s not going to change now. The Hurricane showed us that last year, we banded together when things were rough but as soon as we could wash ourselves properly under lights, we went back to our bad ways. You can put bins out with recycling instructions and people will just throw the trash wherever, nobody gives a damn about anything except when they’re getting some more money to show off on others, that’s the raw truth so spare the BS.

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  7. LCS says:

    We need educational campaigns and programs to teach people from young to old age about generating less garbage, reuse and recycle. Garbage is business if used to generate energy, but it’s not an option here. You wonder why! Interests of a few will suffer.

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