The Bodden Town area has long been identified as the best site on Grand Cayman to locate a new landfill, representatives from government and Dart Realty Cayman Ltd. told more than 100 residents who attended a meeting Thursday night.
The majority of the audience at the Bodden Town Civic Centre reacted calmly to the idea of the landfill’s location, and no one argued the current George Town landfill is acceptable as is. However, many expressed concerns about the impact the new landfill might have on the fast-growing district, and several questioned how they could be sure that officials would follow through on promises the new landfill will be as technologically advanced and eco-friendly as possible – especially with the lack of environmental laws and recycling legislation.
Bodden Town landfill
Calling the George Town landfill “one of the biggest national tragedies we have”, West Bay MLA Rolston Anglin said, “If we had the space in my district, I’d be the first to argue for a properly engineered landfill to go there.”
The plan is to put the new landfill on 110 acres of land acquired by Dart in between Breakers and Bodden Town, northeast of Midland Acres and near two existing quarries. The landfill itself would occupy 40 acres. The proposed extension to the East-West arterial would bound the north side of the new landfill. The location of the site accords with previous ideal locations identified in earlier government studies, for example in 2003, officials said.
Bodden Town MLA Mark Scotland, who is Minister for Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture, said unlike the current George Town landfill, where waste is basically dumped on the site, the Bodden Town landfill will have eight individual cells that would be filled, sealed and covered one at a time, to minimise the amount of exposed waste. Each cell could be used for about 2 to 2.5 years, depending on separation and recycling techniques in place to reduce the amount of waste ending up in the landfill, he said. Mr. Scotland estimated the lifespan of the Bodden Town landfill at 20 to 40 years, depending on those mitigation programmes.
Mr. Scotland said there will be future meetings in the district to discuss area-specific projects in more detail, including the new landfill and initiatives to improve facilities at Bodden Town Primary School and Savannah Primary School.
Vehicles going to and from the new landfill will not necessitate the immediate extension of the arterial or expansion of Bodden Town Road, Mr. Scotland said, estimating the new landfill would create a maximum of 200 vehicle trips per day. He said 10 to 12 garbage trucks would make one or two trips per day, plus 100 to 150 private vehicles per day going to drop off waste at the landfill. The extra traffic caused by the landfill pales in comparison to the natural growth of the district, Mr. Scotland said, which will compel additional road infrastructure regardless of the landfill.
“The demand is not going to be there just based on this waste management facility alone,” he said.