BVI News

Landfill fire likely to be extinguished by nightfall, says minister

Minister of Health & Social Development Carvin Malone.

Health Minister Carvin Malone said the fire which reportedly started at the waste facility in Pockwood Pond on Sunday could be extinguished by nightfall today, November 11.

Amid reports of an explosion that happened around the time the fire started, Malone told BVI News that the fire occurred spontaneously on the hillside where waste management authorities have been dumping Tortola’s waste for the last several months.

“It was not at the incinerator itself and whatever explosion they may have heard may have been a result of one of those illegally placed propane tanks that people from time to time will place there.”

The Health Minister said the issue is seen ‘from time to time’.

“People place discarded propane tanks in their garbage which they should not do, and we try to separate them.”

Major fire contained

In the meantime, Malone said the ‘solid blaze’ has been contained. What remains to be extinguished is what he described as “some leftover debris that had also caught [on fire]” on the hillside just above the waste facility.

“It is hoped that by this evening the smoke would dissipate,” the minister said.

Incinerator nearing completion

Authorities have been dumping the island’s waste on and along the hillside since an unrelated fire that rendered the Pockwood Pond incinerator non-functional back November 2018. 

Malone said repairs to the incinerator is now ‘nearing completion’.

He said: “The control panel is finally being completed, and arrangements have been made to be shipped through Tropical. Once received we would install immediately and recommission the incinerator.”

“This would result in a reduction, if not an elimination of the need to bury untreated waste at the site in Pockwood Pond. So we are working around the clock on many fronts,” he added.

He also mentioned plans to look at the recycling and reuse programmes for the territory.

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  1. styler says:

    This thing is out of control we cannot take this any longer our lungs sick our breathing sick everything sick… house smoky windows smoky this is a shame you know how our stomach look NDP ordering these machine form time they took office 8 years and have not done anything sorry you have to catch the h**l now

    Like 12
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    • @Styler says:

      Oh, he will and is going to catch H*ll for this for sure. (Death by Toxic Smoke) that is what is going to happen to the people in the West.Why is you guys keep putting these INEPT PEOPLE IN OFFICE.

      Like 6
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    • Too True says:

      But the VIP were irresponsible prior to the eight years the NDP were in power as they too did not order & install the “scrubbers” to clean the air at the incinerator. Both parties are to blame for this!

      Like 14
  2. WEST MEN says:

    This would result in a reduction, if not an elimination of the need to bury untreated waste at the site in Pockwood Pond. So we are working around the clock on many fronts,” he added.

    He also mentioned plans to look at the recycling and reuse programmes for the territory.AMEN SOUND LIKE GOOD NEWS MAKE HASTE

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
    • So he say says:

      I been behind Hon Malone for months it’s easy to talk get your getting paid for it .But seriously he need to take on the local Recycling Cooperation an thier plan concerns for the territory an the citizens of the West end

  3. No nonsense says:


    Like 12
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  4. Quiet Warrior says:

    The frequency of fires at waste management site at Pockwood Pond is concerning. The frequency with which these fires are occurring should drive the Minister of Health to call a standdown and get to the root of the problem. The current Minister of Health health inherited this problem. Nonetheless, the incinerator being down since the end of 2018 for a part is unacceptable. Why was an incinerator for which parts were are not readily available purchased in the first place? Cheaper is not always better, especially if the item(s) is obsolete. Why the department didn’t have a high/low limit for critical, long lead time items? Is the control panel the only problem with the incinerator?

    Undoubtedly, incinerating has some advantages over landfilling. Due to scarcity of land, landfilling is only a short term solution; incinerating is a better waste management option. Another benefit of incinerating is that the energy produce can be used to generate electricity. An adverse impact of incineration is environmental pollution. Incinerator must be operated to limit pollutants to permissible exposure limits.

    Looking forward, the Ministry of Health and residents must take actions to reduce the quantity of waste generated by a growing population. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Recycling, though it may/may not be highly profitable operation, must be a vital part of waste management. It reduces the volume of waste needed to be processed, reducing overall waste management cost.

  5. West Ender says:

    We passed truck loads of old tires going to the dump days ago. That what was on fire last night. Explosions last night my asssssssss.

    Like 11
    • Concerned party says:

      Hard to believe a word this guy says – his prior releases said incinerator would be fixed by end of oct and one suggested the control panel had already been shipped. Why can’t he give an honest update with truthful timescales. He probably needs to revise his mantra from ‘the power of now’ to ‘the power of some unmeasurable timeframe in the future’.

  6. smh says:

    Don’t you still need the scrubber?
    Just getting the incinerator running is not going to stop the toxic air we are breathing.

  7. BE HONEST says:

    Some people see only through a political lens, this is so foolish. When you have persons who would place a propane tank in the garbage how would the resulting explosion be the minister’s fault. Are we really that dumb or is it wickedness to place explosives in garbage that is going to be incinerated. Hello somebody….for crying out loud…do something about these idiots and their indiscriminate dumping of garbage. This is not only costing the government thousands and probably annually hundreds of thousands of dollars but is also putting lives in danger. Something has to be done and now about the way we dispose of solid waste, this can no longer be just a subject of conversation and if the government fails to take corrective measures then i would concur that they truly deserve the blame that is being heaped upon them.

  8. vip heckler says:


  9. How many times? says:

    How many times does this need to happen? When are we going to get out of the head in the sand mentality that garbage is a massive issue that has needed to dealt with for decades. We lead the third world in poor management practices. We know it but want to know absolutely nothing about it. We give it lip service with all the talk about the incinerator we once paid $1 million to have wired up after it sat rusting in the bush for 6 years. Now some mystery control panel. It’ll show up but something else will break because at the end of the day neither the government nor BVI people collectively are interested in moving forward. Public health is a BVI oxymoron.

  10. Person says:

    Still burning tonight so once again he fails to deliver into something he himself has stated. Shameful

  11. Visited says:

    Pockwood pond last week and felt sick at what I saw. Felt like I had moved into some third world nightmare scenario.
    Huge mountains of household garbage piled on the hill at the current burn site with no attempt at burial. They are operating a pile,burn,regime..finally they come in with the backhoes to damp the flames but not the smoke…if you don’t believe me give it two weeks and go see for yourself

  12. Party says:

    Last night was awful out West, the fire may have stopped burning but the smoke continued and gassed out the West once again. The actions and lack of actions by the government are atrocious – they are more bothered about blaming NDP than actually resolving the issue (that seems to be the case for a lot of things).

  13. EU Citizen says:

    Well they have bought gas masks for everyone west of Pockwood Pond. That’s a pretty good sign there’s no plan to stop burning.
    Bad is only the first name.

  14. Party says:

    Still smoking away tonight (Thursday), good job on bringing it under control guys or not

  15. Just for the record says:

    Still burning a week later…

  16. Person says:

    I guess mr Malone confused the word ‘extinguished’ for the words ‘will get worse’

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