Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
The Government of the Virgin Islands held an emergency public meeting to discuss waste management solutions for the Territory.
The meeting was held at Maria’s by the Sea on Wednesday, April 13 and featured remarks from Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone and presentations from Director of Strategy at the RDA, Dr. Neil Smith and Consultant Ms. Noni Georges.
The meeting was streamed on social media, Webex, carried live on CBN Radio 90.9 FM, and provided the community with an opportunity to learn about Government’s plan to manage waste and provided a forum for feedback on those plans.
As part of his presentation Dr. Smith outlined a number of strategies which included the following:
- The emphasis on recycling to reduce the garbage stream by 60%
- To use the Pockwood Pond site as the treatment location of waste at the tertiary stage but not for storage
- The treatment options at the Pockwood Pond site should allow for 100% redundancy allowing a 24 hour operation
- Cox Heath, Pockwood Pond, or Paraquita Bay were identified as possible options for tertiary stage treated solid waste to be stored.
- The identification of sites for reclamation
“We want the community to know that none of these options are etched in stone, we have not made any decisions on anything as yet.
That is why we are coming to you to let you know our thoughts and for you to provide feedback on what is presented,” Honourable Malone stated. The health Minister further stated that effective waste management has been at the top of his agenda, however, the impact of COVID caused the project to slow down but Government remains committed to solving the Territory’s waste management issues.
The community can view the meeting on Government’s Facebook page @BVIGovernment and still provide feedback which will be taken into consideration during the decision-making process.
Meanwhile the community is being asked to do their part to keep the Virgin Islands clean and green using the 7Rs of the waste management strategy which includes Reform, Restrict, Reduce, Recycle, Return and Rethink how waste products are managed.
The Department of Waste Management is committed to ensuring that the natural beauty of the Territory is maintained by utilising state of the art waste management technology to ensure timely collection, disposal, and where possible, the recycling of waste.