Photo Credit: Clifton Skelton/BVI Platinum News
Government has identified some areas where there is a high level of waste disposal to install garbage compactors, disclosed Health and Social Development Minister, Hon. Ronnie Skelton.
The Minister made this disclosure in response to concerns about the health hazard the garbage situation poses to residents. The concerns were raised last week at a community meeting held at the Purcell Community Centre.
One of the areas identified was the garbage bin located at the junction of Canaan and Free Bottom roads.
"We have to get compactors for high density garbage areas and Purcell is one of them. The compactors are going to be like sanitary compactors; they will have to have electrical supply, so all the garbage will be compacted inside this and the truck will come and take it away...So the place will be a lot more sanitary...We have also identified East End; wherever you see the big two garbage bins, those are the places we want to put compactors," the Minister told residents.
Persons complained that in addition to the health hazard it poses to residents, it is also devaluing persons' properties, something which the Minister agreed with.
"That is exactly why we are going to bring in the compactors to clean up that...for example, Supa Value and Village Cay. It changes the whole dynamics; you are quite right it devalues property value...," Hon. Skelton stated.
Hon. Skelton, who has publicly stated that the public garbage bins located in and around the Territory are unsightly and he would like to replace them, told residents that he believes that garbage trucks should be going to the homes of residents.
"...You see I am one of those people who believe that the trucks should drive around to every home and pick up garbage, so you have a time to put your garbage down like you used to do long before. But I also recognize that it is a difficult thing because of the roads up the hills and it is really difficult to get the trucks."
He added, "...So you have to change the whole transportation mode; so that is why these bins came into existence; they are very insanitary. I hate to see them on the side of the road from East End to West End on the side of the road, but I don't have the quick answer to your problem."
The issue of residents dumping bulk waste in an indiscriminate manner at dumpsters continues to be a concern for many, including the Solid Waste Department. The department has appealed to persons to take bulky waste directly to the incinerator at Pockwood Pond, but that call often goes unheeded.
Admitting that the BVI is in need of a facelift, Premier and Minister for Tourism, Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith earlier this year said Government will be moving to place urgent attention on the matter.
The Premier said it does not look good, especially considering the businesses the Territory is involved in and the fact that its natural environment must be kept clean and tidy at all times.
"It is plain for all to see, the BVI needs a facelift. The problems with litter, illegal dumping, transportation of waste and other materials in uncovered open tray trucks which result in untidy roads, and the manner in which we dispose of waste oils, metals, white goods and spent batteries all need urgent focus and attention," stated the Premier.
Led by Hon. Archibald Christian, At Large Representative, Government has an ongoing Territory-wide cleanup campaign and on a regular basis, residents are being reminded that it must be a community effort to ensure the Territory is kept clean.