The Government of the Virgin Islands is making significant strides towards recommissioning the Pockwood Pond incinerator, with full operational status expected by September 2024.

This announcement was made by Premier and Minister for the Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change, Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley, during his recent speech on World Environment Day.

The territory has been without a functional incinerator since February 14, 2022, when the control panel sustained significant damage in an early morning fire. The absence of the incinerator has placed greater emphasis on recycling efforts within the Virgin Islands.

In response, Premier Wheatley highlighted that his government has allocated additional resources to the We Recycle Programme, a collaborative initiative between Green VI and the Ministry of Health and Social Development.

The path to recommissioning the incinerator has been fraught with difficulties, marked by numerous delays and setbacks. In November 2023, Director of Waste Management Marcus Solomon confirmed the arrival of transfer arms for the incinerator, along with two unspecified pieces of equipment.

By March 2024, Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Vincent Wheatley, announced that the repair works were nearing completion, with the control panel 90 percent finished. However, he also noted ongoing delays with other critical components necessary for the incinerator’s full functionality.

Despite these challenges, the government remains optimistic about the incinerator’s recommissioning by the September deadline. The resumption of its operations is expected to significantly improve waste management in the territory, reducing the reliance on alternative methods and enhancing environmental sustainability.