I have been in correspondence with the Department of Waste Management regarding the ongoing fire and ensuing health hazard at Pockwood Pond. The department has been responsive, open and empathetic, particularly recognising the horrendous health impact on Tortola’s West End community and beyond.

Regrettably, it is all too clear from their correspondence that there is little that can be done to improve matters under the present waste management arrangements that exist in Tortola. There is too much waste, an incinerator that is not fit for purpose, and no legal redress available to the department when waste is not separated or not disposed of correctly. They are therefore forced to adopt a wholly unacceptable solution of dumping waste on the hillside, which subsequently spontaneously combusts.

It is clear that waste management on Tortola is crying out for reform and investment. It also seems clear that a long-term strategy and complete change of approach is required. I would anticipate this means a combination of recycling, composting and an environmentally acceptable means of dealing with the island’s waste. Clearly, the final point means we need to determine an alternative to burning and tipping rubbish, which will require significant investment. The first two points would require limited investment and an ongoing education campaign. I certainly remember as a young boy in school being taught the “don’t litter” message, and it has stayed with me for life.

It seems to me that this is an ideal project to be put before the Recovery and Development Agency. What do your readers think?