Damaged by a fire in 2018, the Pockwood Pond incinerator and landfill facility has been a constant eyesore than has left residents fuming after smoke from a series of landfill fires haunted the West End of Tortola.
Following another fire in November 2019, Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Carvin Malone (AL) called the woes of the residents a “vexing and complex situation” that has understandably sparked health and environmental concerns, particularly among the residents of surrounding communities.
Efforts to source the facility's rare parts had resulted in some delays in the repairs from the time the incinerator was out of operation.
“This Government will not rest until the fundamental issues affecting the operation of the Incinerator Plant, and the unsustainable waste management practices that contribute to those problems, are addressed at the source,” Hon Malone declared in a statement during the Seventh Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands on October 17, 2019.
Furnace testing begins - Premier Fahie
Now according to Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), residents will soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief following the testing of the furnace at the incinerator facility.
Via a media statement and accompanying photo forwarded via instant messaging on January 23, 2020, Premier said. "As our team continues to collectively work on finishing repairs on the incinerator so that open burning will be finally thoroughly addressed. The incinerator has been out of operations since 2018. Today was the testing of the furnace of the incinerator."
While thanking Hon Malone for remaining committed to seeing the repairs through, Premier Fahie said the problem that has haunted the territory and surrounding areas for many years will soon be over.
"This is progress!," Hon Fahie said while assuring that the open burning of garbage in the area will finally come to an end.