The Dart Group, developers of the Camana Bay project, are one of several entities that have expressed an interest in working with the Government to manage the George Town landfill – also dubbed Mount Trashmore – Minister of Infrastructure Arden McLean said Wednesday.
‘Dart has expressed an interest in managing the George Town dump site,’ said Minister McLean. ‘It is one of many options that we are reviewing on how to respond to the solid waste management issue.’
Camana Bay, Dart’s 240-acre residential, commercial and lifestyle community is a short distance from the George Town landfill site.
Dart Realty (Cayman) Ltd. Chief Operating Officer Mark VanDevelde confirmed the company has had discussions with Mr. McLean and had submitted a proposal for consideration
‘We have followed with interest Minister McLean’s comments on the landfill and the possibilities of identifying alternative sites, Mr. VanDevelde said.
‘Environmental issues aside, the landfill is located in a very visible location on the island and is one of the first impressions a visitor will encounter.
Mr. VanDevelde said it obvious that the landfill site had exceeded capacity
In September 2005 Minister McLean revealed that reorganization of the landfill site would give it another seven to 10 years of space, but earlier this year he revised this estimate to roughly half of the original number.
Currently the space is so limited that in order to create more room, a number of outbuildings will need to be moved to another location on the site.
During Finance Committee last month, Mr. McLean said solid waste management was a key issue he intended to address during his elected term.
Mr. VanDevelde said he supported the initiative.
‘We encourage Minister McLean to continue his efforts in locating a new site for solid waste disposal and for the introduction of other waste processing methods, such as incineration and recycling.
‘It is in our best interest as an adjacent landowner to further these efforts and [we] have indeed made a proposal for the landfill site.
Mr. VanDevelde said the Dart Group believed that the landfill can be reclaimed and used for other purposes in the future, such as a park or other recreational uses.
Effective management in other parts of the world has allowed former landfills to be reborn as parks and recreational grounds.
Other landfills in the world are used to produce energy both directly, through incineration, and indirectly, through the collection of potentially harmful landfill gas emissions that can in turn be converted to energy.
Landfills can also be turned into ‘bioreactors,’ where liquid is added to the landfill to speed up decomposition of organic wastes to increase methane gas production.
While an island-wide recycling program Mr. McLean has touted will be able reduce the amount of refuse being delivered to the landfill site over the long term, of immediate concern is the rapidly shrinking amount of space now available.
The Minister and his staff have been attending waste conferences to learn more about the options available for the George Town landfill site.
Minister McLean says all the solid waste management proposals are currently under review by the Ministry.
‘We are evaluating them very carefully,’ he said.
Of the more ambitious proposals, a Jersey-based consortium, Recycled Refuse International Limited, has submitted a proposal to install a plant that it anticipates will be able process as much as 120,000 metric tonnes of solid waste per year .
The idea is to thermally treat un-separated waste to create a kind of fibre from which any recyclables could then be extracted.
The system has already been used successfully in London, Glasgow, the Philippines, China, Russia, Romania, Poland, Austria, Germany, Thailand and the United States.
The plant will also be able to produce its own energy and desalinated sea water.