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Gov’t forming ‘consultation group’ for incinerator smoke issue

Smoke from a recent fire at waste facility in Pockwood Pood. (Photo provided)

A consultation group is to be implemented to facilitate communication between government and residents who have grown increasingly concerned about the health hazards being bred by a public incinerator at Pockwood Pond.

The Ministry of Health is the department implementing the group, which will comprise community volunteers.

The ministry said “several residents” have already volunteered to become part of the group.

The ministry decided to form the group after First District Representative Andrew Fahie made the suggestion at a community meeting this week.

Residents gathered at the meeting out of concern that the incinerator at Pockwood Pond was emitting unfiltered fumes that are stifling residents — some of who claim they have now developed respiratory issues.

Officials say the incinerator – which is lacking a scrubber device to filter the noxious fumes it emits – has been burning overtime because of the large volume of garbage that accumulated since the hurricanes.

Half-million cubic yards of debris collected on Tortola

Head of the Department of Waste Management Greg Massicote reported this week that his department has collected half-million cubic yards of debris on Tortola alone.

“So, our systems have been exhausted and the Department of Waste Management continues to press forward and to work with what we have to keep the system going,” Massicote said.

Government has been trying to get the scrubber device for the incinerator for several years now.

It said the scrubber has to be tailor-made to fit the Pockwood Pond incinerator and that proven to be an annual challenge.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

19 Comments

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  1. EU citizen says:

    How about stopping burning the was until the scrubber is installed?
    Or better yet, recycle?

    9
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  2. Gandalf says:

    No one wants a damn consultation group! We want the issues fixed. Everyone knows the issues, everyone knows the problem. Just fix what we the people paid to have fixed years ago. This is such pathetic bull$&%@.

    27
  3. dj says:

    Can we implement a study first ($880,000.00)? Than in 5 years decide what we can do?

  4. Nonsense says:

    Why talk about this subject forever and ever. Just implement simple rules to reduce the waste.
    – Don’t sell water in the small bottles any longer
    – Ban plastic bags
    – Ban Styrofoam containers
    – Stimulate recycling
    – Build the damn scrubber already
    – stop lighting the piles of trash

    These measures can be implemented in a matter of weeks by the way.

    19
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  5. Albion says:

    This is what we do in BVI. We form committees (and subcommittees), we have consultations, we do public meetings.

    What we never, *ever* do is actually take any action in relation to the problem.

    22
  6. Laura says:

    Why is this Government always so reactive instead of proactive? Why does the BVI need so many groups to consultation issues that have been raging on for years with no resolve? When are we going to stop waiting so much money? God help our islands for we have absolutely learnt nothing! #saveourislands

    11
  7. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Hon R. Skelton (At L), here is my “ hapeny” suggestion(s): Install stubbers on the incinerator and employ other emission control practices (technology) to prevent, minimize and improve the quality of emissions. For the longer term, emission standards need to be set and adhered to. Too often, committees, groups……..etc are used to buy time or to take no action or to slow walk action on issues. Successive governments failed to take the prudent action to effectively operate and maintain the incinerator. NDP has been in power for two consecutive 4 year terms yet it seems to be floundering and baffled on what to do. By the way, a proactive recycling programme is needed. The 3 Rs——recycle, reuse and reduce—- should be the new normal.

  8. Come on.. says:

    So you’re telling me that in 2018 we cannot find another company, another solution even if temporary as it relates to the scrubber/incinerator? Really? One company, ONE COMPANY has us held hostage, received $400K of our money and years after we are just strangling our people and our neighbors and we are happy with that? Wow!

    15
  9. nick says:

    instead of wasting money in a new airport,built a solar and wind farm.

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  10. Pockwood Pond Boy says:

    The problem is not coming from the Incinerator, it’s from open burning of all sort of waste. From metal, wood, plastic, tires, fiberglass and you name it, it’s all burnt up there. This is a serious health hazard to the residents both west and east of the dump site as well as St John and sometimes St Thomas. The solution to this long standing problem is recycling, there should be a recycling program put in place and educate the public on this, it’s not too late to start. For a small territory we really produce a great amount of waste. We need to place good lighting and cameras where dumpsters are placed, and reduce some of the dumpsters. This will help in identifying the chief offenders who place construction material, house hold appliances and other items that are supposed to be taken to the dump site or a designated area. The Solid Waste Disposal should be revisited and amendments made and laws put in place to prosecute all offenders who break the Solid Waste Disposal Act. Unless we don’t go in this direction we will forever have a waste problem in this country. We don’t need no committee or consultants on this, this is straightforward common sence. I’m sure those incharge of Solid Waste know this already, just a master plan needs to be emplemented and educate the public and emplemented with a trial period before full implementation. There’s some work needed and visit to places where recycling is already in place and is very successful.

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  11. Cromwell says:

    Just one more example of why the BVI needs the UK to provide a legitimate professional government to bring world standard governance to the territory, this disaster would be unacceptable in the real world.

  12. Oh oh BVI says:

    consultation groups are something for 1st world countries, where they can focus on low impact and low priority issues. This 3rd world country needs decisive leadership to tackle the urgent problems, having great impact on the functioning of the society. When will the leader emerge?

  13. /////// says:

    Just another lame excuse….It is known what needs to happen to stop this… Just put it in place and enforce it. Stop acting dumb and deal with it and stop poisoning people.

  14. Director, Alkebulan Minds Recycling Inc. says:

    My corporation is taking the decrease of incineration as a life mission. We will dedicate our own resources (finances) until we are extended a helping hand. [email protected]. Many speak of our efforts as great. We will show our concern help or not! The Almighty will see our efforts. Why is it the 1st recycling corporation is being ignored and avoided. The Almighty will come to our rescue. AS HELP OURSELVES…..

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