Recycling aluminium cans, glass and plastic is a wonderful, positive first step!

But let’s take the second step: Let’s stop open burning.

The detrimental effects of open burning at Pockwood Pond and the incinerator sans scrubber have been well documented (see “Gov’t working to fire up incinerator” in the Jan. 30 edition of The BVI Beacon).

But what about open burning elsewhere on Tortola? Open air burning of refuse diminishes air quality and health. Neighbours downwind of open burning, especially those with asthma or other respiratory issues, are negatively affected by the smoke and, oftentimes, the stench.

In addition to negative health consequences, open burning produces various compounds that are toxic to the environment. Without getting technical, these compounds are responsible for acid rain, global warming, ozone depletion and smog. Just this month, the stench and smoke of open burning affected my husband and myself in Sea Cows Bay. Toxic smoke and odours travel long distances.

So let’s take the second step for the health of our citizens, guests and neighbours. Let’s do our small part to help control climate change and ban open burning in the Virgin Islands.