Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Department of Waste Management
Release Date:
Wednesday, 2 August 2023 - 11:59am

Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Vincent Wheatley and Director of the Department of Waste Management Marcus Solomon met with Virgin Gorda residents to give an update on the landfill fire that occurred over the weekend.

Honourable Wheatley who is also the Representative for the Ninth District apologised to residents at the emergency meeting for the inconvenience they are experiencing and provided an update on the Territory’s Waste Management Plan. He also encouraged the residents to share their concerns and recommendations with the waste management officials.

Director of Waste Management Mr. Marcus Solomon said that the meeting was multi-purpose because in addition to giving an update on the landfill situation it was also a forum to speak about other issues vital to the community. 

“It is important to build a relationship with the community, get their support for upcoming projects like the derelict vehicles clean-up and other public education initiatives. We want to know how our clients view the services we provide so we can improve upon them,” Mr. Solomon stated.

According to the director, the meeting was fruitful and appreciation was gained about what waste management issues are plaguing the island.

Mr. Solomon said, “The residents voiced that they are not satisfied with how the site is being managed. A great deal of waste is pushed off the border and visibly hanging from the hills. They also complained about previous fires and lack of information from the department and the need to improve our bulk waste services, among other things.” 

The director stated that an agreement was made to have continued meetings to assist with providing solutions to challenging problems, collaborate with the community to promote public education and for the community to assist in reporting instances of illegal dumping.

The Virgin Gorda Landfill began smoking around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday July 29, however, pockets of fire and smoke continue to emanate from the area.  Persons with respiratory conditions who live or are visiting the area are asked to take the necessary health precautions.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the environment with the potential to negatively influence the health of the population are managed efficiently, to enable all persons in the BVI to attain and maintain optimal health and well-being.


Natasha Lettsome-Humphrey

Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Telephone: 468-2286