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Mini incinerators for waste management are 'nonsense'- Hon Penn

- shuts down plans by former Health Minister Hon Malone to purchase mini incinerators
A proposed plan by former Health Minister Hon Carvin Malone (AL) for mini incinerators to tackle the current waste management issues being experienced in the [British] Virgin Islands (VI) was recently shut down by Minister for Health Hon Marlon Penn (R8). Photo: VINO/File
Landfill fires at Pockwood Pond on Tortola are frequent. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
Landfill fires at Pockwood Pond on Tortola are frequent. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
After a handful of residents of the First District decided to turn up at the House of Assembly (HoA) on April 17, 2023, to protest the frequent open burning at Pockwood Pond, Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8), 3rd from right, responded with an apology and a promise to resolve the issues promptly. Photo: Team of Reporters
After a handful of residents of the First District decided to turn up at the House of Assembly (HoA) on April 17, 2023, to protest the frequent open burning at Pockwood Pond, Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8), 3rd from right, responded with an apology and a promise to resolve the issues promptly. Photo: Team of Reporters

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- A proposed plan by former Health Minister Hon Carvin Malone (AL) for mini incinerators to tackle the current waste management issues being experienced in the [British] Virgin Islands (VI) was recently shut down by Minister for Health Hon Marlon Penn (R8).

According to Incumbent District Nine Representative Hon Vincent O. Wheatley, plans to order 4 incinerators based on recommendations made by consultancy company Wood Group UK Limited were stopped by Hon Penn.

Mini incinerators are 'nonsense'- Hon Penn

Speaking after residents of the First District turned up at the House of Assembly (HoA) on Monday, April 17, 2023, to protest the constant landfill fires at Pockwood Pond last weekend, Hon Penn referred to such moves as ‘band-aid’ fixes which he claimed are not helping the issue.

“You hearing talks about mini incinerators, don’t be fooled about that nonsense. Those things have a capacity of 60 tonnes combined. The waste capacity of the plant itself is over 150 tonnes per day. So you’re going to spend one point something million dollars to bring in equipment that cannot work? That cannot fix the problem it’s only going to compound the problem…I don’t want to do any kind of patchwork fix to the problem because I know the people of the Virgin Islands deserve better than that,” Hon Penn said.

New plant being sourced- Hon Penn

While apologising to the residents, he noted that instead, a new incineration plant is being sourced to serve as a backup plan.

“We’re in the process of getting an additional plant for redundancy. So you’ll have two…in case something happens with one of them, there’s redundancy in place to deal with the issue in a comprehensive way,” Hon Penn pointed out.

He also stated that he will be looking at having an engineered landfill at the same area where the fires took place and to introduce recycling to deal with the issues.

It is unclear what the new plant will cost taxpayers.

In the meantime, residents of the First District and some in the Third District have no choice but to continue living with the effects of the almost daily landfill fires.

23 Responses to “Mini incinerators for waste management are 'nonsense'- Hon Penn”

  • resident (21/04/2023, 08:18) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    how about we get serious about recycling our waste
    • ENOUGH IS ENOUGH WITH BUSH BURNING IN THE FIFTH DISTRICT!!!!!!!!! (21/04/2023, 17:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply


      ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!!

  • Clarion (21/04/2023, 08:25) Like (40) Dislike (1) Reply
    So MP is disregarding the consultant's recommendation, I guess he is smarter and had fully analyzed the data they used. Reminds me of the guy who disregarded professional advice and put lights at a roundabout.

    Those mini incinerators could have been used on Anegada, JVD and VG.
  • west end (21/04/2023, 08:28) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    The way we are suffering in our own homes is best we go live on the dump (that's how strong the scent is). Can't enjoy outside because outside is killing us! Years after years is the same tune, new chorus same song!!!
    • Greg (21/04/2023, 10:02) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
      Whatever foul air is outside is also coming inside your homes and you are all breathing it in daily. This is an emergency that should have been taken care of years ago. That toxic air is killing everyone who lives over there. My goodness, what in the hell has been taking so long to resolve this problem? People are slowly being poisoned and killed!
  • What? (21/04/2023, 09:14) Like (22) Dislike (11) Reply
    Marlon knows more than the consultants? He canceled the order for the mini high tech incinerators which would have significantly help reduce the smoke we in the west experiencing. I am now voting for Carvin and VIP and not NDP like I planned to.
  • D1 resident (21/04/2023, 09:16) Like (18) Dislike (6) Reply
    Not one Ndp vote from my family and I. If it was affecting East End people he would have already got the temporary smaller incinerators until the large one is built which will take a least a year or more to build and ship. This is evil.
  • Not good at all (21/04/2023, 09:23) Like (26) Dislike (5) Reply
    Marlon you are a disgrace. First you took the $8mill allocated to fix the sewage in the east and put it in the Pier Park multimillion dollar over priced project and left your people in the east swimming & walking in filt. Now you canceled the order for the temporary incinerators that would have been here already and put in use to reduce the smoke the people in the western area & VG is inhaling from the fires you instruct to light. You need to be removed from office as the blood of the people are on your hands.
  • unvaxx 4ever (21/04/2023, 09:30) Like (9) Dislike (17) Reply
    Pock wood pond employees of BVIEC suffering everyday from it and the management of BVIEC holding back increments. i voting against VIP.
    • @unvaxx 4ever (21/04/2023, 09:51) Like (20) Dislike (3) Reply
      VIP cannot be blamed as the main culprit. It was first Ronnie & NDP who ordered this new modern incinerator we have now which was supposed to have taken care of all these issues but it came without all the parts that taxpayers money paid for. Imagine they paid for those parts over and over again and they still have not arrived. The VIP came in 2019 & tried to get the parts but Covid came and caused delays worldwide. The VIP hired a UK consultant who recommended the purchase of temporary incinerators to deal with the immediate issues as they could be delivered swiftly. Now Marlon canceled the order since he became a Minister playing politics and put us all to continue to suffer more to wait a year or two for the purchase of a new incinerator. The history shows something smells with how NDP dealing with these purchases and it is not the garbage. Meanwhile the people on Tortola, VG, Anegada & JVD are suffering whereas the temporary incinerators would have reduced a lot of these issues.
  • Wow brilliant man carvin (21/04/2023, 10:14) Like (2) Dislike (9) Reply
    Does that make any sense mini incinerators,so that they can kill the whole country,the main problem is that in the hill where they buried all the garbage for all those years and did not go through the proper process now with the deteriorating of the trash that that is buried is now turning into methane gas and other gases and is raising from the bottom of the pile to the top and is causing all these fires that can not be controlled because with all this heat we have around here from the temperatures these gasses are very light and easy to ignite that’s our biggest problem the land fill that keeps on catching afire and the other problem is that the trash is not being sorted and all sort of things that should not be burnt like e-waste which is cancerous and other things are burnt and is released in the atmosphere,that is why america has so much propane and methane gas reserve because they run the pipes in the land fills and cap them and mine the gases that comes from the trash ,maybe he should go to the landfill in Orlando and see the mountains of landfill there and findout how it’s done ,but again buy the mini incinerators wow
    • @Wow brilliant man carvin (21/04/2023, 10:34) Like (11) Dislike (9) Reply
      You sound good but you are not well researched. Carvin was one of the few solutions and not the problem. The recommendation from the UK consultant he was following was the correct way forward. Political games being played by Marlon is what is causing further unnecessary delays while the people suffer.
  • Forbidden Truth (21/04/2023, 10:55) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
  • lets all pay for pro advice then ignore it (21/04/2023, 11:02) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Another classic case of somebody not trained in the field thinking he/ she knows better than the person hired and paid to investigate the issue.
    if he wasn't so short sighted he would have realized that those incinerators could be used as part a combined cycle system to also generate electricity! But hey, i'm only a engineer and not as smart as a politician.!
    • Agree (21/04/2023, 14:12) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      I remember someone from around the time the incinerator was installed indicating that the system had the potential to do perform several functions associated with electricity and water production. That was many years ago but, if I am not mistaken, it was part of the the reason the power plant and incinerator were built so close together.

      It would be good to identify whether the synergies spoken of back then still have possibility as new solutions are being planned.
      • lets all pay (21/04/2023, 16:29) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        Agree: yes. the technology still applies and in fact has advances significantly. The units could have been used in a multitude of ways to burn the garbage, use a combined cycle to run turbines for both electricity and reverse osmosis to produce clean drinking water.
  • for the record (21/04/2023, 12:30) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply

    RDA and Wood Group were engaged to investigate and advise on the purchase of mobile incinerators, and the We Recycle program was tapped to reduce the volume of waste going into the land fills. The units would have been purchased, shipped, installed, and operational by October 2022. Meanwhile, the permanent facility would have been engineered, tendered, and delivered by late 2023.

    This decision was shelved in favour of purchasing and installing the burnt out control panel for the failed incinerator. The last time around, the manufacturer took over a year to deliver. Please find out if and when the contract was signed for the replacement control panel.
  • HMMM (21/04/2023, 13:05) Like (10) Dislike (8) Reply
    Thank God for Marlon or we would have wasted another million + dollars. Please get rid of VIP
  • Political analyst (21/04/2023, 13:32) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Getting elected to office by a popularity contest does not make an elected member a technical expert in all things under the sun. A minister’s job is to lead and manage a function to get things done, getting advice from senior civil servants and qualified technical consultants. However, too many elected members developed the attitude that being elected make them automatic experts, fearing and cannot accept that staff and consultants may be more qualified on specific functions than they are. They crave the glory, ie, I did this or that. They miss the important point that if the ministerial functions under their purview are successful that they are also successful. Some politicians need to check their egos and arrogance at the door and get some civility. The Westminister system is flawed.

    Moreover, the BVI is a small locale and lacks the acreage to construct a long-term landfill, ie, 100, 50 or even 25 year lifecycle. Consequently, its prime option is incineration. However, incineration must have redundancy capacity and capability, to facilitate maintenance, repair, breakdowns, etc. Further, the emissions from the plant must be effectively manage to protect the health, safety, and security of residents, especially residents residing down stream from the plant. The PEL (permitted exposure limits) from the plant should be within recommended maximum limits. To ensure this happens, the plant must be properly maintained and operated. Operators must be well-trained, retrained, and certified. And since the territory is remote from major markets and just in time(JIT) delivery is not an option, a high-low limit inventory of critical parts should be maintained on island and shelf ready. Moreover, to reduce the demand on the incinerator(s), a robust recycle programme must be rolled out. Recycle, reduce, reuse!!!
    Further, explore generating power and other uses from the waste stream.
    • Political analyst (22/04/2023, 07:23) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Correction: PEL should have read Permissible Exposure Limit, not Protective Exposure Limit. My bad!
  • Free Consultancy (21/04/2023, 18:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is good free consultancy advice but will government take it. Bet instead it will spend millions for the same advice or less. Historically, we put more stock in advice coming from people from above Round Rock than our own. We treat the colonialists with reverence and and s..t on our own. No respect or appreciation for local advice. But Jesus say a man has no honour in his own country. Political Analyst suggestion is well reasoned and practical. It includes redundancy, recycling, high-low inventory on critical parts, protective exposure limit ( PEL), training, operations, maintenance, reality of landfill, possibility power production, etc. It is the whole 9 yards and it is free.
    • @Free Consultancy (22/04/2023, 10:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Indeed, we prefer white colonialists and others from above Round Rock over our own. We relish in self-hatred, self/discrimination. We worship others and hate our own. Crab in the bucket syndrome is rampant. We treat white is right and black get back.
  • US (21/04/2023, 21:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It start with us first we the people have to seperate our.garbage and stop puting metal iorn all the thing that cant be burn this help to janm in the machinry..this also make harder to manage stop blsming vip. Since marlon went to got the ministry he should put 2 head to work for the benefit of the people but that marlon for you ..he to self centerd , i huesshe too made a hugei mistake

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