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Send hazardous waste off island, gov’t told

A dump site on a section of Tortola. (Photo credit: Andre ‘Shadow’ Dawson/BVI News)

Local non-profit organization, Green VI has advanced a list of ‘strong recommendations’ to the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee to end open burning in the British Virgin Islands.

Among those recommendations is a call for government to send hazardous waste off-island for safe processing, and implement policies that deter open burning.

Green VI also called for government to create and enforce policies that force persons who are contracted to handle the territory’s waste to adhere to global standards for processing waste.

The organization further recommended that these contracted waste workers recycle discarded materials such as metals, glass, plastics, and fibreglass.

“Be open and transparent with the public, partner with local recycling efforts, and generate local jobs and products,” added Green VI in a media release.

Sister Islands burn regularly

The organization has put out the recommendations because of what it said is a regular occurrence of burning on the islands of Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke.

The practice of open burning has increased in the BVI in light of the large volume of waste material dumped across the territory because of the hurricanes.

Green VI said the challenge of having these materials in the territory is an opportunity to “transform this wreckage into resources; thereby enriching lives and livelihoods and protecting our health”.

“It begins with putting out the fires,” Green VI said.

The organization noted that burning synthetic waste products releases carcinogenictoxins that cause damage to the respiratory, immune, and reproductive systems.

“Even some vegetation, such as Manchineel wood, releases serious poisons. Burning also destroys valuable resources. These are resources that could be recovered and re-purposed to create jobs and local products and also mitigate climate change,” Green VI said.

“Burning is both an environmental and economic mistake with widespread and lasting consequences,” it added.

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4 Comments

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  1. Albion says:

    They could presumably start by dealing with the open asbestos which has been lying around the old Palm Grove shopping centre right in the middle of town since Hurricane Irma.

    Somebody did helpfully paint over the warning that the British military left. But when everyone starts dying of lung cancer, we will all know why.

  2. t says:

    climate change my a**

  3. Bvi says:

    Who cares about waste management ? Let a fire start the world will know then hmmmm wake up people

  4. Janderson says:

    I am absolutely stunned that I’m reading this .
    They are burning garbage… radome plastics synthic material etc.. .
    Absolutely a shame get your act togather government
    Now I read that the waters surrounding the islands have so much bacteria they are closing beaches WTF is that all about !!
    That is some bad governing

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