Mealybug causes smoke to rise

For nearly two months now all vegetation at the George Town landfill is being burned because of the presence of plant pest the Pink Hibiscus Mealybug on the island.

Landfill foreman Leon Watson urged the public to be patient while the burning continues. ‘There may have to be smoke for a while instead of mealybug taking over our little island,’ he said.

The burning takes place in a curtain burner. It is a seven day a week process, for 24 hours each day, except for Sundays when it stops for five hours in order for maintenance and cleaning of the machine.

Although from time to time the smoke can get bad, Mr. Watson said they try their best to keep it to a minimum by keeping the curtain burner as hot as possible. The hotter it is, the less smoke, he noted.

The process of burning vegetation began on 26 June and it is uncertain how long it will need to go on, said Mr. Watson, as it is linked to the mealybug problem.

The curtain burner had been brought in earlier this year to burn overturned trees knocked down in Hurricane Ivan, he explained.

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