STATEMENT BY HONOURABLE CARVIN MALONE
MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
DURING THE FIFTH SITTING OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE FOURTH
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
ON THURSDAY 31ST DECEMBER, 2020
AT THE SAVE THE SEED ENERGY CENTRE
DUFF BOTTOM, TORTOLA
UPDATE ON THE WASTE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present an update on the Department of Waste Management’s ongoing efforts to increase recycling and waste reduction in the Territory.
Mr. Speaker, in keeping with the Government’s commitment to the 7R’s – Reform, Restrict, Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Return and Rethink – to date, the Territory’s WE RECYCLE Programme has established two (2) recycling centres and diverted approximately 3,328 tons of recyclable materials from the incinerator and landfill. This was achieved with the introduction of 51 recycling points on Tortola and Virgin Gorda. In the not too distance future, the Department of Waste Management, in collaboration with Green VI will introduce new recycling bins at these collection points. The new recycling bins will be made of recycled plastic and will be manufactured locally. Mr. Speaker, I am keenly aware that there are a number of recyclers in the territory and I wish to assure each of them that this Government will embrace their efforts and that none will be left behind in their quest.
Mr. Speaker, as part of our ongoing efforts, we created the first ever National Student Recycling Competition in the Virgin Islands. The competition, which is scheduled to end on December 31, 2020, allowed students to collect glass, plastics and aluminum cans and deliver the materials to the designated collection point on their respective island. The student that delivers the most material for each category on each island will win a laptop. Mr. Speaker, I am happy to inform this Honourable House that a total of 123 students participated in this competition. The 123 student represents a total of 27 schools and learning centres across the Territory. According to reports from my team, the students were all excited to take part in the competition and are also involving their families, neighbours and friends. The Competition, which is based on the 7R’s concept, is linked to the larger waste management strategy for the Virgin Islands. It is envisaged that the 7R’s concept will help transform waste management into something that we can all be proud of.
Mr. Speaker, another aspect of our recycling efforts is the removal of derelict vehicles. Older dilapidated vehicles which are collected by the Department of Waste Management are eventually exported out of the Territory for recycling purposes. The Cabinet of the Virgin Islands recently approved Tortola Concrete Products to process and export derelict vehicles and other scrap metal out of the Country. And for the first time, the Government will attempt to recoup funds from this type of operation by entering into a sales agreement with companies interested in purchasing the scrap metal directly from the Government of the Virgin Islands. Works are expected to start directly after the holiday break.
As part of this operation, immediately following the first of two trips, the war on derelict vehicles will recommence. All remaining derelicts on Jost Van Dyke, Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Tortola will have no hiding place. An $80.00 bounty would be paid on any derelict that is spotted, marked and transported to an approved location of each of the islands. Once delivered to Pockwood Pond, we expect to completely remove all derelict vehicles and scrap metals from the temporary derelict vehicle site in Pockwood Pond and the temporary dumpsite in Cox Heath which were both created as a result of hurricane Irma. The Ministry conducted an operation whereby the Paraquita Bay site was cleared of all refuse and restored. Illegal dumping at Sea Cows Bay and Paraquita Bay would be traced and violators would be prosecuted.
Mr. Speaker, as we enter into the New Year, the Ministry of Health & Social Development and the Department of Waste Management will continue to strive to find ways to reduce the Territory’s dependency on incineration and landfill operations while improving the waste management system. Agency Red and our team have completed their consultancy and the public consultation phase will commence in early 2021. At the close of the consultation, the Ministry will issue Request for Proposals for the collection of waste and other measures aimed in maintaining a clean and healthy environment.
Thank you Mister Speaker.