Today’s Editorial for May 14: Mount Trashmore burns…again

One has to wonder how many times we’re going to have to editorialize about fires at Mount Trashmore before something is done.

In 2002 we wrote, ‘Cayman has known for years that a new landfill site must be found for Grand Cayman. Still, the old site is being used. The weekend fire at the dump should add new urgency to the matter.

‘It was not the first fire at the landfill site and it likely won’t be the last.’

How prophetic.

In 2004 another fire broke out at the landfill in December.

We reported, ‘Smoke from a fire at the George Town landfill still billowed into the Cayman sky this morning (Tuesday, 7 December, 2004). The fire broke out Monday and affected only that portion of the site known as the hill, where household and commercial waste is taken.’

In August last year our journalists covered yet another dump fire and we again editorialized on it.

Those in George Town on Monday saw smoke pluming once again over the dump and we were there again to record the events.

The George Town landfill is out of control, and has been for years.

Ministers and governments have been giving lip service to finding a solution to the growing heaps of trash, but nothing has been done.

A recycling programme would help, but despite the promises of politician after politician, we still aren’t participating in this environmentally sound practice.

Every fire at the dump is dangerous, not only because it has the potential to get out of control and cause major damage, but the smoke has to be filled with toxic matter.

And that’s just the problem.

No one knows exactly what is underneath that mountain of refuse.

It is our fear that one day we’re going to hear a huge explosion from the dump. What’s that going to do to Camana Bay?

Our firefighters and others who risk their lives to fight the dump fires are to be praised.

We only hope none of them gets sick from inhaling whatever is lurking in the smoke.

Grand Cayman doesn’t need another landfill. It needs to find a solution, such as on-site processing and disposal, – along with a rigorous recycling programme – or turning waste into energy.

We’ll say it again. It’s time to quit talking trash and start doing something about it.

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