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Concerns over metallic dump on VG as hurricane season looms

Sheets of galvanized metal and other waste have been piled at an unofficial dump on North Sound, Virgin Gorda for months. (Photo by Esther Durand/BVI News)

Residents of Virgin Gorda have raised concerns over a metallic dump site that was created in the North Sound section of the island months ago.

The dump in question is located near the Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School.

The unsecured contents at the unofficial dump range from sheets of galvanized metal, to poles and other household items. Virgin Gorda residents now believe the items have been at the location for too long and they fear the unsecured contents could be used as missiles during a storm or hurricane.

The 2018 hurricane season begins on Friday, June 1.

The dump was only temporary

When contacted to speak on the issue, Sister Islands Programme Coordinator Vincent Wheatley said the North Sound dump was only to be used temporarily.

“After Hurricane Irma, we were forced to create temporary dumps, and one of the items we chose to put in the dump was metallic stuff,” he told BVI News at the weekend.

Wheatley said the Gorda Peak dump is the designated area for metallic waste on the sister island. He said those types of waste are secured beneath rocks to prevent them from becoming projectiles whenever there are strong gusts.

However, he said the unofficial dump at North Sound was created because of issues getting metallic debris to the rightful Gorda Peak location.

“We had two issues on Virgin Gorda — whenever it rained, we couldn’t get to the [official] dump on Gorda Peak. The dump isn’t properly paved all the way so anytime it gets wet, the ground gets very soft. So, there were several days we couldn’t get to the dump, so we had to find temporary dump sites and that (North Sound) became one of the dump sites, especially for metal,” Wheatley explained.

He said the other issue had to do with money. Wheatley said authorities have not yet made funds available for the items to be sent abroad for recycling.

“The idea would be that a crusher would take the metal afterwards and ship it overseas to a recycler but it never happened,” he said.

And while acknowledging that the North Sound dump and its contents are a “danger”, Wheatley assured: “We are going to put it in the Gorda Peak dump, and when there is money to move it in the proper way, they can go to the dump to get it.”

“If the storms come again, they (unsecured debris) won’t be all over the place. They will be away from residents.”

Volunteers to tackle task this weekend

He said residents are aiming to move the waste dumped at North Sound by Saturday.

He said the North Sound community is collaborating with Virgin Gorda Recovery Operations Centre (VGROC) and the Department of Waste Management to clear the site.

VGROC is a community group that started after the hurricanes to bring ‘hope’ to residents. The group was responsible for managing relief supplies and clean-up campaigns in the aftermath of the hurricanes.

Unsecured metal at the Gorda Peak dump. (BVI News photo)

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

12 Comments

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  1. VG Resident says:

    I would like to add too that there is debris all over the island that needs to be gathered and removed from around homes, in open pastures etc., the Jeffrey Caines Basketball Arena (roof) and the list can go on and on. Please let us clean up the environs or we will suffer the consequences.

  2. Hmmmm says:

    This is absolutely shameful and no word from the Health Minister or Premier about what’s being done to tackle these serious issues.

  3. vi says:

    Bury it with dirt if you can’t get it remove.

  4. Today's Reality says:

    Sadly, to have one bottle, can or piece of trash removed to its rightful place, or to have anything get done in twenty first century today requires a minimum of one million dollars as a starting price.

    And we still wonder why major projects, particularly those of government, can never get started.

    Green greed has superseded all rational and reasonable thought of human kind.

    It is also that human mental shortcoming that will see us one nearby day substitute our greedy politicians for greedy English men.

    Where is it all headed?

  5. Sam the man says:

    A lot can be done in 8 months – that is unless you are the No Direction Party … They continue to underwhelm however let’s celebrate an erection of a temporary tent structure at West End ….. Would have taken anybody else a few days to achieve what they still preside over after 8 months – wow what a fantastic party…

  6. hMMMM Anegada says:

    VW stop playing politics. you know this was being dealt with before you were contacted. LAWD another politician on the scene. Help us Jesus

    • Curious says:

      Would like pictures of the “rocks” securing the debris on the mountain as well….multiple piles of metal debris, blazing black smoke fires of burning mattresses, & not a single rock on/near the piles…For that matter, not a rock to be found anywhere on the entire dump property…smh…

  7. Wow Wow says:

    Why cant the home owners clean up around their surroundings and stop looking to the blinking government to do it for them. We need to stop this thing bout government must do this and that for us and it is our own property that is looking so nasty. Cleanliness begins with you.

    • Gumption.Official says:

      I 100% endorsed your comment.

      • Curious says:

        The debris being discussed is on public property and people were directed to put specific materials there immediately after the hurricanes…While it is important that folks stop waiting on the govt to clean up their personal private property your comment is hardly on topic here…

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