Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Department of Waste Management
Waste Management
Release Date:
Thursday, 4 May 2023 - 10:23am

The Government of the Virgin Islands continues to look at possible solutions and directions to manage waste in the Territory.

To this end, Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley has met with the staff at the incinerator at Pockwood Pond and the Department of Waste Management surrounding the management and security of the dumpsite.

Honourable Wheatley met with Manager for the Department of Waste Management Mr. Neville Allen, Assistant Manager for the Department of Waste Management Mr. Anselm Myers, and the First District Representative Honourable Dr. Karl Dawson.

Discussions were held on the best strategy for ensuring that persons do not have access to the area after it is closed as it was disclosed that most of the fires started at the site are intentional.

Additionally, the group explored different pathways to getting the incinerator repaired and back on stream to assist with the Territory’s waste management challenges and the removal of derelict vehicles and equipment from the Territory which is currently an ongoing process.

Honourable Wheatley stated that waste management, in general, in the Virgin Islands has been a longstanding issue across successive administrations. He said as a new government, a message must be sent that the voice of the people, especially those in the First and Third Districts, must be heard.

The Minister said, “We want to be seen early on giving the incinerator and dumpsite their due attention. I want to come and get a fresh look at what the current reality is, and this here is not sustainable going forward. So, we must look at the possible solution and the possible direction that we want to take waste management into.”

Honourable Wheatley highlighted that the needs of the people are at the epicentre of his goals, and as Minister, he wants to be visible on the ground which he hopes will reflect in the Government's action plan.

While the Minister acknowledged that waste management across the world has been a cause for concern, he said because the Virgin Islands relies heavily on tourism, safeguarding the environment is paramount.

“It is important as the Minister for Health to ensure we can do what we can to get the waste management issue under control in as short a time as we can. So, from day one I want to be on the ground working with my colleagues to support what we are trying to do here,” Honourable Wheatley said.

Meanwhile, Dr. the Honourable Karl Dawson noted that the degradation of the incinerator along with the recent fire has become a cause of concern for residents of the First District.

He said, “The impact is great for us, and we intend to do our part in the district. This includes leading the way in recycling efforts and certain efforts to ensure there is less waste coming to any landfill that we create because we realise the solution is not simply to build better incinerators but to have less waste. It calls for a mind shift and we want to lead that shift in the VI.”

The Ministry of Health and Social Development through the Department of Waste Management is committed to transforming and implementing innovative ideas and strategies to manage waste in the Virgin Islands.


Fitsroy Randall

Information Officer I
Ministry of Health and Social Development
Vornicia's House of Commerce, Long Bush
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
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