In the absence of a ‘proper landfill site’ and a scrubber device needed to filter noxious fumes from the incinerator at Pockwood Pond, Health Minister Carvin Malone has said additional equipment is needed to help meet the waste management needs of the British Virgin Islands.
The minister gave that indication in a recent BVI News interview where he said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the arrival and installation timelines that were set for the critical and long overdue scrubber for the waste facility.
He said his ministry will now have to “touch base again with the manufacturer to see how far along the process they had actually gotten” in preparing the device.
“I can’t say that the department has not been on top of it because my intention has been focused on COVID-19, as you would be aware. Between Cabinet and the House of Assembly, we have been meeting non-stop since March and from that time we have been meeting every day even into the weekend,” the minister said.
Waste management facility needed on VG
It was then the minister said he believes an additional waste management facility is needed on the sister island of Virgin Gorda to better manage the overall waste produced in the territory.
“Clearly enough, we need another piece of equipment, whether it is the incinerator of some other form with tertiary treatment. We need one both for Tortola and one for Virgin Gorda.”
“Virgin Gorda has a steady stream of waste and it will not be best suited in our mind to just have it barged down to Tortola because we don’t have what we would call a proper landfill site as yet.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the territory’s borders, the minister had stated in February that he was given assurance by the manufacturers of the scrubber device, Consutech, that it would have arrived in the BVI within the first quarter of 2020.
July, however, marks the start of the third quarter for the year.
The absence of a scrubber at the Pockwood Pond facility has been said to affect the respiratory health of persons in the immediate surrounding areas.