The Coalition to Keep BT Dump Free is again asking the government to unconditionally cancel the agreement with Dart to move the George Town garbage dump to Bodden Town. For Dart, moving the dump means that they can further extend Camana Bay and develop their future residential area. But a new dump would threaten the integrity of historic Bodden Town, challenge an already inadequate infrastructure and threaten the central wetlands.
The Dart public relations machine is trying to mislead us into believing that the dump must be moved. This is not true! What is true, as repeatedly made clear by Dart, is that once they hand the new site over to the government, they’ll have absolutely nothing to do with its management or the operation of any recycling facility. Selecting Bodden Town as the site of a new garbage dump ignores all common sense precautions and considerations:
Dumps should be located in an industrial area, like the present site – not in a residential or farm area. The agreement would require the rezoning of Midland Acres;
A dump should be located as close as possible to the source of the waste (George Town, West Bay and Seven Mile Beach), and the present site is ideally located;
A dump should be as close as possible to major transportation links (air, ship, highway), as is the present dump in George Town;
The site should have immediate access to a major roadway, and the George Town dump borders on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway;
A dump should never be near nature and animal preserves, but Meagre Bay Pond, one of the Island’s key bird sanctuaries, is less than 1,500 feet from Midland Acres;
Areas of cultural and historic value should be avoided. Bodden Town is the original capital of the Cayman Islands and home to Pedro Castle, the Mission House, Gun Square, Slaves Wall, the Guardhouse, and several historic homes;
Wide open areas vulnerable to natural disasters are to be avoided. Imagine how far afield the garbage from Midland Acres would have been after Hurricane Ivan;
For both supply and possible resale of recycled power, a dump should be as close as possible to the energy source and the present site is about 1,500’ from CUC;
A dump should be as close as possible to the public sewage network and the sewage plant is next door to the George Town dump;
More importantly, a dump should be located where property owners and residents have prior knowledge of the proximity of a waste disposal facility;
At the very least, the population of Bodden Town should be asked for their prior consent;
But, the cardinal rule is never relocate a dump, don’t contaminate a new site, exhaust all conceivable avenues allowing the dump to remain where it is.
Relocating the dump to Bodden Town makes no sense at all. Among the countless solutions put forward since the dump in George Town was established in 1983 , moving the dump anywhere was never proposed by anyone – not until Dart wanted the George Town dump removed from sight and smell of Camana Bay. No one claimed the dump had to be moved until the idea was floated last year by a group called WISE, claiming to be a “non-profit advocacy group”. According to the Caymanian Compass of 4 October, 2010, the group admits that its proposal was based on “research” it commissioned from Apec Consulting Engineers Ltd., of which Dart is a major client.
In October 2010, the Government invited tenders to redevelop the GT landfill and create a waste-to-energy facility. Proposals were specifically limited to dealing with the landfill on the current site. It is understood that the only proposal to move the dump to Bodden Town, submitted by Decco, Dart’s construction company, ended up in 6th or 7th place, and did not even make the Central Tenders Committee’s short list. It did not meet the parametres of the Request for Proposals, and there were “concerns about the potential environmental impact of locating a new dump in the central wetlands area”. The tenders procedure ended with the Government announcing on Christmas Eve that the winning bid was submitted by Wheelabrator Technologies to build and operate a hi-tech waste-to-energy facility on the present site, which would sell the energy created to CUC. What changed all this? Along came Dart with the need to move the dump, while its executives admitted that the present dump was the “single most commonly stated hurdle for potential purchasers of various residential units at Camana Bay”. There we have the only reason for moving the dump!
Moving the garbage dump to Midland Acres offers no jobs or economic growth. It will be an immediate obstacle to new businesses being established in the district and to new residential developments. Bodden Town will face a major increase in truck traffic, noise and pollution, along a main road already critically dangerous and overtaxed. Bodden Towners will be exposed to possible toxic air emissions, a stench that, with winds from the East, could easily extend well beyond the village of Bodden Town toward the west, the risk of fires and explosions, disease through rodents and other pests, potential contamination of the water table extending into the central wetlands, and a possible disaster in the event of a major hurricane. Who would want to “Go East”? ! Not a single vote to any candidate who supports a dump in Bodden Town! The proposed dump must be stopped!
Coalition to Keep BT Dump Free