BVI News

Missed deadline | Incinerator still ‘undergoing repairs’

Now nearly a year since being out of service, the incinerator at Pockwood Pond on Tortola is still undergoing repairs.

However, a joint media release from the Department of Waste Management and the Ministry of Health indicated that electricity has already been restored to the incinerator and repairs are nearing completion.

“As part of the repairs, a CS-4000 Incinerator Replacement Control Panel was purchased from Consutech Systems LLC and is being prepared for shipment to the territory in the coming weeks,” the two government entities said.

Missed deadline

Back in July this year, Health Minister Carvin Malone said the incinerator was expected to be fully functional by September.

“We anticipate that the incinerator unit will be fully repaired and brought back into operation by the end of September 2019,” the minister said at the time. 

The waste facility was rendered out of service back in November 2018 during a fire that caused damage to the building’s electrical main panel. Government since entered into an agreement with Skelton Electrics Limited to replace and reconnect all damaged ceiling lights, devices, electrical cables and wiring between the incinerator panel and the building’s electrical main panel. 

Still no scrubber to filter noxious fumes either

Apart from the Incinerator being non-functional, it is also without a ‘scrubber’ — a device used to filter the harmful smoke that emits from the incinerator.  

This has been a significant cause of discomfort for residents who said they have been experiencing health issues for the many years the device has been absent. 

While nothing has been incinerated at the facility since last November when the Incinerator burst into flames and went out of commission altogether, residents are still plagued with smoke issues.

The department of Waste Management has been using a landfill to dispose of the piles of waste, which would have otherwise been incinerated since the closure. This is because the dump has caught fire more than three occasions, creating new problems for residents of West End.

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  1. Uncle says:

    This reminds me of a line in a song, “we’ve only just began”

  2. vip heckler says:

    This whole VIP administration starting to tell lies now

    Like 9
    Dislike 5
  3. Photo says:

    Great third world photo of the inoperative incinerator with smoke clouding the blue sky and a large dump truck sitting on blocks with no right rear wheels. Maybe a photo of the replacement CS4000 control panel would have been a better choice for this news article.

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
    • Say it as it is says:

      The CS400 isn’t here, what we have is a smoking dysfunctional health hazard, this photo is very tame compared to whats around the back. Third world is spot on

      Like 12
    • Resident says:

      I agree – folks should have a look at the heaps of garbage sitting out back.

  4. Caught fire says:

    On 3 occasions only? Filthy liars…

    Like 10
  5. LCS says:

    Need reciclyng badly. When are we going to start?

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
    • Curious says:

      When are we going to start SUPPORTING recycling? Quite a few Local Businesses have taken the financial risk to provide effective & successful recycling services, yet we budget millions to light a match & donate millions to build collection boxes & piles….Waste disposal is not free….time to change how we spend the money!

      • Paradigm shift says:

        There needs to be a shift in thinking. Once upon a time, we picked fruits from trees, and caught fish from the sea. Today, we go to work, earn money, and use it to buy food. We consume more goods than before. Being an island, everything comes in pallets, boxes, packages that are placed in plastic bags for you to take home. When there was only a few of us, didn’t really matter where we threw stuff away (and in the early days, it didn’t matter because fruit rinds, fish guts etc were biodegradable). Later, we decided to provide skips/dumpsters so that disposal (later incineration, sometimes) could be more centralized. But, now that there are more than twice as many people than 25 years ago, it has become a runaway train. We generate garbage faster than we can dispose of it.

        Recycling is, of course, a great idea, and can play an important role. But the term connotes re-use with the implication that it is free, but the problem it is that it is not. Someone has to collect the empty bottles, crush them (so equipment costs), store the product (say for use in aggregate), someone has to collect, package and ship out cardboard. If we wanted to recycle building materials, then someone has to develop and implement this program. In other words, recycling as a societal enterprise is not free. If we really want it, we have to be willing to pay for it, and be willing to actively participate. Nearly everyone who comes to visit our shores pays a monthly garbage bill (as well as water, internet, cable etc). In many places, the garbage bill includes fees for recycling.

        Regardless of blame or fault, if we want better waste management in the islands, including recycling, we have to be prepared to accept a monthly bill, particularly since it is evident in this post storm era that funds are limited. In return, the government (regardless of party) has to agree to get with modern times in it’s waste management and recycling policies. It’s really fish or cut bait time.

  6. What!!! says:

    Without a scubber installed the same poison is going in the air just from a different source.

    Like 12
  7. Typical BVI says:

    DWM incinerates its own incinerator.(Director needs to get fired..geddit?) Politicians make empty promises, while the people continue to breathe toxic fumes. Now they will be privileged to do so from a chimney rather than an open fire as there is no scrubber. How comforting.
    A grown adult that cant wipe its own arse

  8. United States says:

    Do you all need people from the US to come to the BVI and fix this problem or what.

    • Curious says:

      They came after Irma…They came, they saw, they took the cash & they left the rest….You guys got enough garbage to worry about up there…BVI Solutions are here already – support your local recycler…

    • Whatever says:

      Whatever the problems we have, you can be sure the answers do not lie in the US. They are by far the biggest polluters on the planet.

  9. Heads need to roll STAT says:


    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  10. Me says:

    Good to see that this is being followed up by the news media. Keep them accountable! Something must be done for the poor people in West who have to inhale these fumes. Can’t tgis be deemed an “emergency” situation?

  11. hiphop says:

    But the leader of the VI lives in West End.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The incinerator has been a problem since the 20th century. A new one was purchased some 25 years ago. It sat around in the bushes for close to a decade (who buys a piece of industrial equipment without commissioning it?). Govt paid $ 1 million to have it wired up. Was there any operations and maintenance manual prepared at that time? Was the incinerator properly maintained? Given the problems in its operations, the answer appears to be no. How much are we spending now? Will the scrubbers be operational when it gets back and running? In the meantime, open air burning for the last 10 years. Why can’t we get this thing done right instead of wasting a lot of money we don’t have and have people laugh at our ineptitude?

    In a way, just like a new car imported to the Territory. Looks spiffy and new for a few years, then dings, rust and so on, and before you know it, an island car that leaks oil, leaks rain and has a missing headlight. Gets you from point A to point B on a good day. Some days not at all.

  13. EU Citizen says:

    This is so unbelievable dumb.
    “because the dump has caught fire”. Caught fire?
    Gas masks for everyone older than 10?
    Great government initiative. We should have more decision makers like that.

  14. Managing director says:

    Good day, my beautiful people, their is only 1 solution, there is only one company dedicated to having a change of ideas and an implementation of recycling which is the ONLY SOLUTION, please contact the managing director at understand that a local bvi corporation is ready to act… give us your support and support a better future for the waste industry in bvi! Obviously this article proves that the government has been lacking

    Like 1
    Dislike 1

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