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.
Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.